Peyton Manning's Neck Fusion Surgery

Peyton Manning underwent neck surgery in 2011.
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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.

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 causing 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 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 can take longer. Some lifestyle choices can alter the rate of bone healing, and allow for faster or slower fusion.

Also, nerve damage that can develop as a result of chronic pressure on the nerve may take months to recover. In fact, not all nerve damage fully recovers, and some people continue to have persistent numbness, weakness, or pain, despite 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, is the starting quarterback for the New York Giants.

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

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