Thursday, September 8, 2011

Peyton Manning Gets Third Surgery, a Cervical Fusion, Out Minimum 8 Weeks

**See Peyton Manning, His Noodle Arm, And What This All Means" for most recent info**

The Indianapolis Colts have finally released some definite information in regards to what has happened to Peyton Manning's neck, and why/how his recovery was slowed.

There are more reports coming out that he had surgery today, and not on Sunday as first rumored.

Here's what we know now:
  • ESPN's Chris Mortensen is now reporting on twitter that Manning had surgery this morning (interesting timing given all the firm denials last night), and indeed had a cervical fusion.  Expected time out is at least 2-3 months.  No word yet on if he's going to be placed on IR.
  • Peyton's slow recovery was indeed due to slow nerve regeneration.  This slow healing caused his triceps in his throwing arm to be weak and affected the velocity of his throws.  
  • Manning was removed from the Physically Unable to Play list so he could at least practice with the team to assess his progress
  • Manning began to have pain again in his neck and upper back once he started throwing more, which necessitated the multiple specialists' opinions and the rumors of surgery flying around everywhere
  • Apparently, the surgery recommended is an anterior (upper neck) cervical fusion, which is where bone grafts and plates are used to permanently stabilize the cervical vertebrae affected (see video below).  See this post on what his recovery entails, and what his prognosis is.  
  • Can Peyton play in the future? It's definitely possible, depending again on if other areas of his neck become affected down the road, and how well that triceps nerve continues to regenerate.
    • His older brother, Cooper, who had his own cervical spine fused, said this: 
"Everyone is different, but I've had a fusion and I've known players who have had fusions and went on to play football. ... You can get a pretty good range of motion back and much more stability once it heals."
(**Update: Less than three weeks after surgery, Peyton will attend home games, work in coach's booth)

Here's a basic video of what a cervical spine fusion looks like. Don't worry, it's animated so there's no blood!

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