Tierre Turner has been a stunt man for 28 years and has doubled for actors like Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ice Cube. He has also been a stunt coordinator for movies like “Dumb and Dumber 2,” “3 Stooges,” “Hall Pass,” and “Stuck On You.” Tierre says “Injuries are just part of the job. You get hit by a car, and you’ve got to do it over again. You get thrown off horses. You get thrown on the street.” And you don’t always get it right on the first take. The definition of a stuntman’s job is getting back up after a fall to do the take again, and that’s exactly what happened when he broke his back.
While working on a movie called “Kill Factor,” Tierre’s stunt involved rolling over a truck. As the truck rolled, the roll cage broke and pinned him in the car while his stunt team tried to free him for 30 minutes. Despite the accident, he endured the pain and continued to stunt double for two years without seeing a back doctor. His back pain became so bad that he could barely walk and his other joints were affected as well. During a visit with his knee doctor, he mentioned his back pain issues and was recommended to Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins.
“You’re going to have to have surgery soon, or you won’t be able to walk.” said Dr. Hopkins to Tierre. Tierre elected to have lumbar spine surgery. Dr. Hopkins decompressed the area that was compromising the nerves and utilized pedicle screws to hold the decompression in place, relieving Tierre’s leg and back pain. After the surgery, and as part of his rehabilitation, he was walking within 2 days. Prior to the surgery, Tierre couldn’t walk a block down the road. He had no physical therapy and returned to his full pre-injury activities including all of the high-impact car stunts that he did before.
“When you have somebody working and cutting on your back, you want them very confident,” said Tierre. “Dr. Hopkins is a great surgeon, intelligent and very thorough.” Tierre said he feels lucky to be able to go back to his lifestyle and understands the risks involved in his line of work. Dr. Hopkins warned Tierre that he would be injured again, but despite the risky nature of his profession, Tierre loves his job and takes pride in what he does. He has continued his career as a stunt double for 11 years, and has recently been injured again. He will see Dr. Hopkins for another surgery soon, and is confident that he will be able to fix him again.
Examples of his stunt work are below: