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Procedure on neck similar to one Manning had last year

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Posted May 25, 2011 @ 8:57 p.m. ET
By Arthur Arkush

Colts QB Peyton Manning recently underwent neck surgery for the second time in 15 months to "address discomfort and other symptoms related to a disk," according to a statement released to the Indianapolis Star.

Dr. Sheeraz Qureshi, the co-chief of surgery and an expert on sports medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, reached out to PFW to discuss Manning's procedure, which was performed by Dr. Richard Fessler in Chicago on May 21. Dr. Qureshi acknowledged he has not personally examined Manning for knowledge of the star QB's specific case.

Qureshi said the procedure, a minimally invasive posterior cervical foraminotomy, uses a tube to remove part of the disc that is causing pressure on the nerve. He said as he understands from information available to the public, it was almost exactly the same procedure that Manning underwent last year — just at a different level.

Qureshi emphasized that fusion, which can be problematic for professional athletes because it limits their range of motion, was not required.

"Traditionally, there have been other procedures done for similar problems that have required fusions. The particular procedure that Manning had is a good one because it takes pressure off the nerve while still allowing him to have full range of motion of his neck without any restriction."

Qureshi indicated that it will be approximately 4-5 weeks before Manning can begin physical therapy and strength training. Colts owner Jim Irsay wrote on his Twitter page that Manning will need eight weeks to recover and he would be ready for training camp if it opens on time.

Qureshi said the procedure is used to control symptoms, but once a patient begins experiencing disk issues in the neck, they are likely to recur. He estimated a 15 percent chance of symptoms recurring after five years.

"In Manning's case, he is probably just at the right time where hopefully this isn't going to affect him again at least during his playing career — but it is a possibility."

This is good news for the Colts, who plan to sign Manning, 35, to one more deal lasting 4-6 seasons that will make him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

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