Sep 10

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Peyton Manning: Done for the Season or Just Plain Done?

Alas, Peyton Manning. We knew thee well.

Reports have emerged that Peyton Manning has undergone a cervical fusion. I’ve not been able to find any information about which vertebrae were fused – or even how many. The reports from the Colts indicate that Manning will be out 2 – 3 months.

I’ve mentioned my own neck in previous posts. In December 2009, I had an ACDF (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion) on my C5, C6 and C7 vertebrae. The operation can be tricky if there is spinal cord involvement like I had. The rupture in my C5/C6 disc region compressed my spinal cord to 1/3 of its normal size, causing balance issues and headaches. There’s no indication that Manning’s situation is as serious as mine was, but from a personal perspective, I believe Peyton Manning will not set foot on an NFL football field again.

Once fusion is complete (which typically takes 6 months to 1 year – not the 2 – 3 months indicated in reports), the vertebrae involved in the fusion process form a column of bone that has no flexibility or movement. At the base of the neck (where mine was), the results are typically better to retain movement. I have about 85% of the side to side range that I had prior to surgery. The motion is reduced the higher up the fusion is.

Since the fusion surgery creates a column of bone, if the fusion were to break, that would literally result in a broken neck. It’s for this reason I believe we will not see Peyton Manning back on the playing field. I had my doctor check my neck this week because I recently felt and heard a “crack” in my neck. She indicated that I broke off a bursa – or bony post-surgical growth. And I did it by moving wrong while I was sleeping. As we discussed my neck, she reminded me that I shouldn’t do things that are too jarring – no sky diving, no bungee jumping, no white water rafting, no rollercoasters – EVER.

I believe the abuse a QB takes on the field would be akin to any of the things on my list of “stuff not to do”. I wish Peyton a speedy recovery – but suspect it won’t be a complete enough one to allow him to play again.

What’s your take?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vikesprincess.net/2011/09/peyton-manning-done-for-the-season-or-just-plain-done/


  1. Phil

    Nah, he ain’t done. He’ll be back, but yeah, it’s a scary idea if you think about it. I can’t *imagine* him not coming back given the money he’s rakin’ in (first) and secondly, they must have known about this when they were working out that money and thought that he could come back. So, I think he has to be back.

    1. VikesPrincess

      I don’t know Phil… I have issues driving and residual nerve damage – and Peyton’s been having nerve issues for a while. Irrespective of the money… is it worth risking your life? Because that’s what he would be doing.

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