Blog Entry

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

Posted on: September 8, 2011 3:07 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 5:52 am
Posted by Will Brinson

Peyton Manning underwent a neck surgery known as cervical fusion on Thursday and will miss two to three months while he recovers. If that reported timeline is accurate, it's lines up perfectly, as we predicted earlier, with Mike Freeman's report that the Colts were prepping to lose Manning for half a season.

Of course, "two to three months" is all relative.

If it's two, that's half a season and you can see why Freeman's sources were concerned with that number. If it's three months, well, that's three-fourths of the season and any sort of delay in the recovery process would almost certainly put Manning out for the season.

However, though this is Manning's third surgery in the past 19 months, the team will keep him on the active roster, the Colts said.

Don't anticipate Indy confirming any timeline for Peyton's return, though. In fact, they confirmed that they will not be confirming that, although the team did acknowledge the surgery.

"As previously stated on Monday, Sept. 5th, Peyton Manning has undergone further testing and consultation with several specialists regarding his rehabilitation. The results of these tests and the consensus of the consultations was that further surgery was warranted," the Colts said in a statement released by the team. "Peyton has undergone this surgery today by having a single level anterior fusion. The surgery was un-eventful.

"This procedure is performed regularly throughout the country on persons from all walks of life, including professional football players. Two former Colts players had this same procedure last winter and have fully resumed their careers. Rehabilitation from such surgery is typically an involved process. Therefore, there will be no estimation of a return date at this time. We will keep Peyton on the active roster until we have a clearer picture of his recovery process."

The Manning surgery was originally reported by ESPN's Chris Mortensen, who adds that "there is no word whether he'll be put on [injured reserve]." Mortensen also spoke with Archie Manning, the Colts quarterback's father.

"I think he's OK, probably because there's a little finality to this deal in terms of playing," Archie said. "He's been on the clock since May. He didn't make it. Obviously, it's a big letdown, but he can relax a little bit compared to the intensity of everything he has done trying to rehab."

Peyton's Progress

Will Carroll of Sports Illustrated paints an even bleaker picture, noting that "if reports of cervical fusion are correct, this is potentially career ending." Carroll also notes that "two to three months is unbelievably aggressive for [this] procedure."

For those wondering why the timeline for Manning has been so vague this week, Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network reports that Peyton "has traveled all over the U.S. trying to find a solution for his cervical problem, the latest recommendation resulted in surgery today."

If that's the case, it certainly makes sense that, as we said earlier today, no one with the Colts actually knew what the deal with Manning was, because he was out there trying to find out what -- if any -- options were available for him from other medical professionals.

The secrecy that's surrounded this entire process has been baffling, almost to the point where it's hard to fathom how we got here. So private, in fact, that even Peyton's older brother Cooper wasn't aware of what was going on with the quarterback's injury.

"[Peyton] values his privacy even within a very tight family like we have," Cooper told ESPN. "We've exchanged some short texts and I've given him his space. He's had a lot going on."

Cooper's not the only one who has sounded out of the know when it comes to Peyton's surgery -- Jim Caldwell didn't have much of an answer on Thursday when reporters inquired about a status update on Manning, shortly before news broke of the surgery.

Of course, Caldwell now has a much bigger concern: can the Colts win without Peyton. Our own Pete Prisco would tell you the Colts are "done" and he has a valid point about Peyton's ability to cover up other problems on the roster. Mike Freeman argues that we shouldn't "kill the Colts yet" because Kerry Collins is at least "not horrible."

And Collins isn't horrible. But he's not Peyton Manning. Which is the harsh reality the Colts will face -- for the first time since 1998 -- come Sunday.

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Since: Aug 29, 2011
Posted on: September 9, 2011 3:55 pm

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

"How many had their career cut short?"

Out of 53 players who had surgery for a "single" herniated disk, 15 didn't return to play again. The article also states that none of the players who did return sustained a spinal cord injury after surgery. My bet is that Peyton will come back.

Since: Nov 12, 2008
Posted on: September 9, 2011 3:52 pm

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

No wonder he's needed 3 neck surgeries, look at the giant melon!  It's like an orange on a toothpick!  That's not a forehead it's a fivehead!  He'll be recovering resting on his huge pillow!  His head is so big, he has to step into his shoulder pads!  His head is so big he had to be baptised in the Pacific!  His head is so big, he actually does have to mop his brow!  When he was in college all his teammates had a big orange T on their helmets, his actually said Tennessee!  His head is so big, he's got to keep a barber on retainer!  And the barber uses riding clippers! 

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: September 9, 2011 3:07 pm

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

Sad to hear this. Not really a Manning or Colts fan, but hate to see an injury take a guy off the field.

Each surgery is unique to the individual. You are referencing averages. While some play for longer then the 3 years you quote.
How many had their career cut short?

I had the surgery that Manning had (fused 3 vertbra, lower 3 in the neck, C5,C6 and C7) .
It was 6 months until I was cleared to return to normal activities.
And my "normal" activities do not include getting clubbed by 300lb+ monsters.

I hope he is able to return and play at a high level.

Since: Aug 29, 2011
Posted on: September 9, 2011 2:52 pm

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

According to an article on the American Academy of Orthopeadic Surgeons website ( "Surgery not a career-ender for NFL players with cervical disk herniation", 72% of NFL players who have undergone surgery have returned to play on average an additional 3 years. I don't think the fact that Peyton has received multiple surgeries is neccessarily an indication of how screwed up he is, but more just that he is Peyton Manning and has just signed a 5 year $90 million contract.

Since: Jun 2, 2009
Posted on: September 9, 2011 2:11 pm

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

SportLawAnalyst you might want to try to find a job in writing because know one cares to read as much as your wrote when we don't know who you are.

Since: Jun 30, 2010
Posted on: September 9, 2011 1:21 pm

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

Peyton Manning's career may well be over.  The nature of the injury required the consultation of 6 of the nation's best neurosurgeons to ascertain the best course of action.  There can be no exact prognosis because of the intangibles involved.  The question of expertise can only bring into play percentages and with Manning it involves his right arm which is his big weapon.  My expertise may not be medical but it is personal in having the exact same injury to the nerve affecting Manning's tricep muscle which also has accompanying muscle spasms in the trapezius, and numbness in tingling in the fingertips, tricep mucsle as well as major pain cycles where the pain can be radiating, chronic, acute, burning or stabbing.  There is also a loss of strength associated with the injury in the triceps muscle where mine is about 20 percent.   As a result compensation occurs which can explain manning's back injury as a compensating mechanism to a still damaged triceps muscle with associated nerve damage. Picture pain associated with this injury as having a knife stuck into you at various intervals where various treatment occurs post surgery.

What we do know is that Manning had a similar surgical result to my own as I fell into the small percentage of individuals where the first surgery did not alleviate  the pain, numbness, tingling and pain.  That is why the reason the neurosurgeons and heurologists are tight lipped.  What happens is the surgery is done and the symptoms are not alleviated so the experts are perplexed as to why this transpired as they do not know why the first surgery was not successful.  Immeidatley after Manning's first surgery physical therapy began which consisted of electrical stimulation, massage, traction, heat and other therapuetic technics for the injury.  When the symptoms continued Manning mosat likely had a series of injections or nerve blocks  to ascertain which nerve or nerves were affected and by deadening certain nerves to see if a series of injections every so often could alleviate the symptoms.  Manning unfortunately must have had no success as the nerve damage was such that it could not be ascertained as to why the problems continued if not worsened.  Of primary significance is the nerve damage was at such a high level that the neurosurgeons have stated he will require complete nerve regeneration of what they refer to as the 7th nerve and they are not discussing percentages of success in terms of returning to professional football.

Manning had undergone a technique that is very common wherein the affected symptoms remained.  The pain still exists today.  During Manning's last surgery a specific procedure  affecting the 7th nerve transpired to see if the problem was being caused either by pressure of the ruptured/bulging disk or fragments from the damage disk interwined around the affected nerve where the damage occured.  In my case all of the fragments were removed and I had a similar procedure to Manning where the disk was removed, the fragments carefully removed from the affected nerve and a fusion with a spacer as opposed to the reported bone graft in Manning's case.

Peyton Manning originally had a very simple procedure  in May where recovery was not even considered problematic.  That rings a bell with me as I endured that same similar prognosis.   Neurosurgeons and neurologists were consulted and my surgery was undertaken for the same purpose of Manning's surgery.  What Peyton's 6  neurosurgeons and neurlogists are not saying is did he have any immediate relief after the surgery which is very common as some symptoms will immediately vanish upon successful surgery and then the rehabilitation will begin as well as nerve regeneration.  In my case the numbing and tingling in the triceps muscle and fingertips remain as does the pain and loss of strength.  With nerve pain even the strongest of pain medications can only provide a drugged stupor to function and sleep is totally disrupted.  The opiates also affect metabolism and testosterone levels which can cause extreme lethargy unless manning is prescribed Testosterone Cypionate during his recovery period.  Then there is the question of whether this common drug regimen can be utilized with NFL players when physician prescribed as they are banned substances under the NFL's substance abuse program.  One would think the drug protocol would be permitted but there have been cases where steroids that are prescribed as an build up strength and to expedite healing have resulted in drug suspensions.  It is  not like a player is gaining an advantage while recovering from surgery but it is the NFL.

Manning and his medical team know right now some aspect of the success of his surgery as the procedure itself can cause almost instantaneous success with respect to some of the symptoms.  Ironically there can be nerve cross over affects fromother damaged disks and this may not be his last surgery.  At this time the physical therapy regimen has started and if some symptoms remain the possibility of post surgical injections on the affected nerve will be discussed.  Then the question will arise as to whether the damage to the left tricep and fingertips is permanent.  In my case 10 percent of people were going to fall into that category of the  unfortunate individuals where there is no surgical relief.  What is of primary concern with Manning is the similarity to my own situation where the simplistic surgery did not work and symptoms remained or got worse.  With Manning he has even a worse situation as the 7th nerve was completely damaged.  In my case the nerve remained but was severely damaged and regeneration was not going to occur.  With Manning his 7th nerve was destroyed so nerve regeneration becomes even a more complex issue brought into the equation.

Right now you will hear many tight lipped neurosurgeons as well as not a word from the team or manning unless success is guaranteed.  Expect silence for a period of time if not the entire season but also during the next year or so.  It would be very sad to lose a player of Manning's stature   while still in the prime of his game and also a man that is a class act.  Every week football players careers are ended without much fanfare as it is not one of the premier players in the game.  My first bhope is manning makes a full recovery and secondly if not that he does not have to endure the pain, discomfort and loss of function.  I live with this affliction every day and I do not wish it upon anyone.  Granted many people have injuries and illnesses that make this injury insignificant but in terms of what manning brings to the game we all should look at the big picture about how life can be so fragile.

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: September 9, 2011 1:09 pm

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

The "line of duty" is a correct phrase that is not just reserved for the military.  Remember it's guys like Peyton Manning and Rashad Mendenhall that earn millions of dollars and pay millions in taxes in which those millions in taxes go to fund the military with superior weapons.  So without their support and the tax payers support there is no military.  Team effort, and you should respect that just the same don't look down on people with "you are cracked up because they didn't serve" there are far more braver things than serving in the military. 

Just listening to someone order you around (military) and to follow those orders blindly isn't necessarily brave.  Druglords tell young kids to sell drugs and they listen blindly, is that brave?

Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: September 9, 2011 12:42 pm

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

There goes the season already sucks for Colts fans
Well we can now see how good the Colts as a team really are. Is the team all Manning or is he just an important part?

Patriots lost Brady for the season a few years ago and went 11-5. First team in recent history to win 11 games and miss the playoffs.

If the Colts are .500 or less if and when Manning comes back, we will have our answer.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: September 9, 2011 12:10 pm

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

Perhaps we have seen the last of a great Q.B.

Since: Dec 26, 2007
Posted on: September 9, 2011 12:10 pm

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

I agree with your position and opinion of "line of duty". Football is about entertainment and to analogize it to military service is demeaning and insulting to all those who have served our country or perform as first responders, especially those of 9/11. I am a Veteran of the Vietnam War and find the past treatment of military and the 9/11 responders appalling, despicable and embarrassing. At the same time the Bush was sending men and women into harm’s way, his administration and congress was reducing Veterans Administration funding and that same congress denied federal support for health conditions of those 9/11 first responders.  This discussion is about an entertainment issue but mostly about someone’s health. As long as the cost of his care is not from public funding, unlike many of the sports venues around the country (which I have issue which I have issue as well), who cares is he, the union or the Indianapolis organization pays for the care. But try not to forget, this is still about someone’s health and wellbeing regardless of his social impact. I wish him well and a speedy and complete recovery.

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