By Abby Sims
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Sometimes, amidst all the accounts of athletes’ injuries, recoveries and resultant playability there are things not said that resonate most with me.
Take Peyton Manning for instance. There has been much speculation as to the degree of his recovery, and experts have spoken as to the lack of added risk he faces if his cervical fusion has fully healed. However, no one with real information has spoken in specific terms about the actual degree of healing any impaired nerves have exhibited and the related progress and level of strength of the muscles in Manning’s right arm. These nerves were compressed for some time, as two surgeries prior to the fusion failed to result in relief. A longer period or greater degree of compression generally requires a more extended period of recovery. Peyton himself was quoted as saying that he is not fully healed but is improving all the time. Will that improvement level off before Manning reaches his former capacity? Who knows, but that is still one possible scenario.
Another thing not mentioned in the reports I read of Manning’s condition, and that fans should understand, is that mobility of the spine is lost at the level of the fusion. Since Peyton’s fusion was “only” at one level, he should be able to compensate fairly well. Again though, there is a caveat no one is mentioning – lack of movement (hypomobility) at one or more levels of the spine makes the level above and below this limitation somewhat more vulnerable to physical stress to the area. Over time, these levels may become hypermobile (unstable because of too much mobility). I hope that since he clearly plans to play on, that Manning proves the point that he is capable of regaining his form and that he remains injury-free. However, I’m just sayin…
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