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: Dec 26, 2007
Posted on: September 9, 2011 11:53 am

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

I second your position and opinion about "line of duty". I am a Vietnam veteran and I am disgusted with the way our veterans and the first repsonders to 9/11 have been treated. At the same time that Bush was sending troops into harms way, his adminstration was reducing Veterans Administration funding, which was so evident by the news coverage that uncovered the dispicable hospital and housing conditions for our returning injured vets, as well as, that same congress denied federal support for health issues related to the recovery efforts of the trade tower site.
This issue about Manning"s injury and recovery is an entertainment problem ad as long as the cost doesn't come from public funding, unlike many sports arenas, which I also have issue with, who cares if he, the union of the Indianapolis organization foots the cost. 
I wish him well and a speedy and full recovery.

Since: Dec 23, 2008
Posted on: September 9, 2011 11:22 am

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

OUCH! I love to watch the guy play but WOW, did the Colts just screw the pooch with his new contract or what. I mean come on the vast number of thing that could go wrong is a huge risk for locking him up under contract like they did.

I hope all goes well and he makes it back to the NFL. If the surgery back in May didn't help whats to say this one will. I guess time will tell if the Colts come out smelling like a rose or if in fact they just jumped the gun on the new contract.

Peyton get well soon and take the recovery slow so that you don't end up out of football for life!

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: September 9, 2011 11:21 am

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

 I will also state that there is nothing you can say that will convince me that Peyton Manning should pay out of his own pocket for expenses he incurred in the "line of duty" while the organization to which he belongs is supposed to have health insurance.

This is a stupid debate because it's this has nothing to do with anybody's opinion.  Either it's written in the CBA that NFL teams or the NFL itself is responsible for Peyton's operation and expenses or it's not.  If it is, the Colts and/or the NFL pay up.  If it's not, Peyton pays..... it's that simple.  If the CBA requires NFL teams to carry health insurance for all players then I guarantee you the Colts have it as well.  If not and if Peyton has it then his insurance will cover most or at least some of it.  Once again, this subject isn't a matter of opinion... it is what it is and that's the end of it. 

Your "line of duty" thing cracks me up though, I'll tell you why.  I was watching a documentary a few days ago on 9/11 where they were interviewing a lot of people that were in that area on that terrible day.  Did you know there are a lot of people, some actual fire fighters that due to whatever chemicals were coming out of that building on that day have diseases and sometimes life threatening diseases?  Did you know that DOZENS of these people don't have healthcare and the government isn't covering their expenses.  Did you know even some fire fighters that have been off work have been DESTROYED financially because some aren't 100 percent covered for medical and lost wages?

Did you know I watched another show where I saw former U.S soldiers interviewed that fought in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc  that due to mental and physical injuries can't work anymore that are suffering financially?  Two of the people I saw interviewed were living in their car...... 

Until everything I mentioned above changes you can shove your "line of duty" where the sun doesn't shine.   The people that have been on the real "line of duty" and fought to protect your ass from being bombed aren't taken care of but Peyton Manning gets hurt in a football game after picking up a couple hundred million dollars and I'm supposed to believe he should be taken care of?

Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: September 9, 2011 11:20 am

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

There goes the season already sucks for Colts fans

Since: Dec 26, 2007
Posted on: September 9, 2011 11:20 am

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

The loss of Peyton Manning from football will be a great loss. He is one of the most skilled quartebacks of all time and as a Patriots fan, his loss will diminish what has become a very entertaining annual competition.
As an advanced operating room clinician, I have particiapted in many anterior cervical fusions. The surgery is techncially challenging but relatively common in neurosurgery and many neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons have subspecialized in spine surgery.
What has me most concerned is the fact that after two surgeries, Peyton has had recurrent motor (function) and sensory (feeling, pain, numbness) symptoms. Having had 2 surgeries means he will have significant scarring around the original site of surgery and no surgeon can no guarentee complete recovery or return to normal and particularly peak athletic abilities. If his symptoms are a result of the scar from previous surgeries, he has probably been advised that surgery can remove this scar and imobilizing the site (cervical fusion) will reduce the risk of reoccurance. To be clear, there is no guarentee this will be successful or that some other complication won't occur. 
Peyton will need a perfect outcome to be able to return to football. And as a previous comment noted, this is an impact sensitive surgery and there is NO external neck support that can protect his neck from the force generated from impacts during professional football. I would also find it very hard to believe he will return to football this season and I unfortunately, have little confidence that he will ever again be able to play professional football. I think much of the secrecy surrounding this latest circumstance is indicative of the long term seriousness of his condition and the prognosis for his return to playing professional football.
His loss to the game would truely have a negative impact to the professional football.

Since: Jun 30, 2011
Posted on: September 9, 2011 10:14 am

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

Now with Peyton out for this season (pretty much) the Colts should scrap it becuase they arn't going to do that well with Kerry Collins at the helm so they should hope to get a good pick in the draft and snag Andrew Luck, Nick Foles, or Kellen Moore and next year have them learn under Peyton (We all know hes not ready to retire) and develop a young QB like the Packers did with Aaron Rodgers. I wish Peyton a fast recovery and hope all is well with his neck... football is better when he is playing.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: September 9, 2011 10:08 am

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

This is tough and I'm sure Peyton is struggling with sitting out. But he needs to consider what might happen if he gets hit there again and how it could impact the rest of his life. I'm not a medical expert (nor do I play one on TV) but if the risk is too great, he should retire. At the very least, the Colts should put him on IR so he takes the time to heal without the pressure of trying to come back and save the season (if the Colts are not doing well).

I have a lot of respect for Peyton and all that he has achieved in footabll. I wish him well.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: September 9, 2011 9:53 am

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

One positive from all this is that the Colts should now be in a position to compete for Andrew Luck with Collins running that team. Too bad for football losing a player like Peyton Manning.

Since: Sep 26, 2010
Posted on: September 9, 2011 9:44 am

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

Agree with previous poster - 3 months is what bony fusion takes.  Any neurosurgeon who wants to trust the titanium plate and screws within 6 months in such an impact sport must have good insurance.  As a physio who does the rehab on these things, impact is not something you want to introduce too early.

I wonder if the Colts management had wording in the contract to protect themselves against this - otherwise they just got punk'd.

Peyton Manning has been a wonderful ambassador for the Colts and the game.  I hope his surgery goes well and his rehab is without complication.  Even with that, I would not be letting him on a field for at least 6 months as playing a game is not worth it.  They aren't curing cancer out there, they're playing a game.   

Knew I should have traded him when I got him in a Fantasy team (auto draft)! 

Since: Sep 9, 2011
Posted on: September 9, 2011 9:14 am

Peyton Manning undergoes surgery, out 2-3 months?

I work in healthcare as well AND I underwent an anterior cervical fusion myself on March 7, 2011.   For those not familiar with the procedure... they make about a 2 inch incision in the front of the neck and pull the trachea & esophagus over to the side to expose the cervical vertebrae (there are 7 cervical vertebrae).  I'm not sure exactly which vertebrae were the issue with Manning but it's typically the level of either 3-4, 4-5, 5-6, or 6-7.  "Level" refers to the two vertebrae involved and disc (what's left of it) between them.  They will then remove all of the bad disc (by scraping & filing).  Next step is to now put something in place of where the disc was that will restore the original spacing.  The 2 typical choices are either a piece of cadaver bone (yes, bone from a dead person) or a piece of bone from his own hip (highly doubt he chose this option as it can be more painful than the neck surgery itself). 
the small piece of bone will be centered between the vertebrae then surrounded by a few small pins to keep it from sliding.  Finally, a titanium plate will be placed over the front af the 2 vertebrae and screwed into place.  Now that's just the surgery, here's the kicker...
Remember the piece of bone that's put between the vertebrae?  That bone will need to fuse itself completely to the vertebrae above & below it thus making 2 vertebrae into 1 large vertebrae.  That process takes AT LEAST 3 months before the fusion is even partially complete. 
Just for comparison- I am 41 years old, tall & thin, in phenomenal shape and at 6 months post surgery my fusion is about 50% complete.  I can do anything I want EXCEPT any full contact sports (football, hockey, etc.).  I was told up to 1 year before I could do those.  If I tried now and got any significant jolt to my head or neck the results could be life changing.  So if 3 months from now  Manning gets a blind side sack from big old DeMarcus Ware, he may just be spending the rest of his football days watching from his wheelchair.

Just makes no sense why they would over-promise by saying 2-3 months knowing that they will under-deliver.  Would be better off under-promising by saying about a year and over-delivering with him coming back at end of season.
Perhaps I'm wrong and Manning will heal like a 14 yr old and be back throwing touchdowns by Christmas?  But I doubt it!

There's my medical & personal 2 cents! :)  Oh and by the way- if you haven't already- just youtube anterior cervical fusion to see some actual surgeries.  But don't if your a bit squeemish or into blood & gore.

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