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I feel awful for Manning. Screw us as fans, we have had it great for over a decade now. We can endure one (or likely, more) losing season. This has been Manning's entire life. By all accounts this man's life revolves around football and that's all he does. He has been blessed with tremendous health his entire career until this crazy injury comes along and might just take everything away from him. It has to be killing the guy. You know he knows there is a chance he will never play again, and I can't imagine how he is taking that. The man just loves to play football, and he is great at his job. Had his health stayed the way it had been, he had a real chance to rewrite the record books for quarterbacks. Just a shame. I honestly do believe that he will play again, but sadly, I don't think he will ever be what he once was. I hope I'm wrong, for his sake and ours, but this is really sad to me. For all he has done for this organization, the city, and the state...we owe him a lot.
From my understanding it was the least invasive surgery he could get without the fusion. From the papers I have read the fusion for his condition has the highest success rate of his neck injury. From what I gahter it promotes the best environment for nerve regeneration by removing the bulging disc that pinches the nerves causing the numbness.
The surgery in Feb from what we know had worked but he reinjuried his neck throwing balls in the summer. Its all sepculation but we do know that 4 NFL Qbs have had this surgery and comeback to play. My bet is that he will to given time.
In everything I have read this is really rare with bone grafts. The development of immune suppressant drugs and the fact that the bone has very little for the host to react to being dead matrix tissue. ITs more likely for the graft not to fuse than it is to be rejected. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21290204
Again this is a 95% success rate surgery so the likely hood of him coming back is strong. IF he doesn't come back it has more to do with his nerve symptoms than some strong likelyhood of him being reinjuried or paralyzed for life by getting on the field again.
I agree and the nerves coming back is strictly a matter of how much damage was done and how long the nerves were pinched--having nothing to do with the success of the surgery itself.