Sunday, October 23, 2011

So Where Is Peyton Manning At In His Recovery From Cervical Neck Fusion?

We are a little over six weeks from when Peyton Manning had his September 8 cervical bone fusion surgery, and I've been trying to figure out where he would be in his recovery. It's been difficult because the Colts have been in the kind of information lock-down that they were in before he had the bone fusion surgery.

A few weeks ago, Indianapolis Colts Jim Irsay said that Manning's recovery was coming along and that he'd put the odds of him playing this year at just under 50%.

Of course, he was improving from his pre-surgery condition.  Simply removing that problematic disc was enough to greatly alleviate Peyton's pain.  I would think one major sign of improvement would be to simply not be in pain.

The first order of business is to get the bone fusion to heal.  Healing of this sort is similar to any other broken bone, although as a fusion there is more extensive healing that needs to take place.  Six weeks after the process has started, you should be able to tell that the bone is healing.

However, according to one source, "substantive" bony healing doesn't happen for three to four months for the average person.  That would put us right at the end of the season.

The major issue here is the nerve regeneration that still needs to happen.  The reason why Peyton was having a hard time recovering from the previous neck surgery was that he was having arm strength issues that stemmed from a damaged nerve in his neck.  We won't know how that's coming along until Peyton starts to be able to work out and throw the football.

He has to be in physical therapy at this point beginning to strengthen his severely weakened neck, back, and arm muscles.  The next few weeks will be important for knowing if the nerve weakness is still apparent or not.  If the nerve has regenerated, then Peyton simply needs to build his strength back while the bone continues to heal, and he will be back to playing in December.

We all just need to be patient.

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