Peyton Manning's Neck Fusion Surgery

Peyton Manning is a professional football player. Manning played college football for Tennessee and was drafted as the number one overall draft pick in the 1998 NFL football draft. He was the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.

Peyton Manning throwing a football
Ronald Martinez / Employé / Getty Images

The Injury

Manning has had recurrent problems with cervical disc herniation. The discs of the spine are the cushions between the vertebrae. These discs can become damaged and put pressure on the nerves surrounding the spinal cord. When pressure is put on these nerves, typical symptoms include arm pain, numbness, and weakness. In addition, a damaged disc can cause neck pain.

Cervical Disc Treatments

The most common treatment for a herniated disc is to remove the disc fragment that is putting pressure on a nerve. When a large amount of disc is involved, or if the rest of the disc material is unhealthy, cervical fusion surgery may also be recommended.

Fusion is a procedure that permanently links two vertebrae together. This is most often accomplished by removing the entire disc, filling the space with a bone graft, and placing a plate and screws to hold the adjacent vertebrae together. The plate holds the vertebrae in position until the bone has solidly fused with the vertebrae.

Recovery From Surgery

Recovery from neck fusion surgery requires ample time to allow the bone to fuse between adjacent vertebrae. Much like a broken bone healing, this process takes a minimum of about eight weeks and may take longer. Some lifestyle choices can alter the rate of bone healing and allow for faster or slower fusion.

In addition, nerve damage that can develop as a result of chronic pressure on the nerve may take months to resolve. In fact, not all nerve damage fully recovers, and some people continue to have persistent numbness, weakness, or pain, despite undergoing neck fusion surgery.


Manning is part of a well-known football family. His father, Archie Manning, played for 13 years in the NFL. His brother, Eli Manning, was the starting quarterback for the New York Giants for 16 years until his retirement in 2020.

Peyton Manning has won many awards, including the NFL MVP a record four times. He has also been selected to 11 Pro Bowl teams and was the 2007 Super Bowl MVP.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Cervical disk herniation, cervical radiculopathy and cervical myelopathy.

  2. Mayfield Brain and Spine. Herniated cervical disc. Updated September 2018.

  3. New Jersey Neck & Back Institute PC. Cervical neck surgery recovery guide: 5 tips to speed up time it takes to heal. Updated September 23, 2019.

  4. Spine Health Knowledge from Veritas. Lumbar decompression back surgery considerations. Updated November 4, 2009.