Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by xwalker, Apr 30, 2022.
Reportedly the Cowboys medical staff discovered Clark's herniated disk at the combine.
Also found this article that paints a slightly more positive picture in terms of recovery. I've edited the excerpt to only include the pertinent info. I also don't know if Clark has an "upper-level" cervical disc herniation (CDH), or "lower level" issue. You can check out the full article here: https://www.newswise.com/articles/nfl-players-get-back-in-the-game-after-upper-spine-surgery
Newswise — October 4, 2016 – The majority of U.S. National Football League (NFL) players who undergo surgery for a herniated disc in the upper (cervical) spine are able to resume their careers and perform at a high level, suggests a study in Spine, published by Wolters Kluwer.
Even players with "upper-level" cervical disc herniation (CDH) have a high return rate and can return to play with similar performance outcomes compared to their “lower-level” counterparts, according to the analysis by Dr. Harry T. Mai of the Department of Orthopaedic surgery at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and colleagues. The results may help guide decisions about surgery and the likelihood of returning to competition for players with these career-threatening injuries.
Good Chance of Continuing NFL Career after CDH Surgery The researchers identified 53 NFL players who underwent surgery for a herniated disc in the cervical spine between 1979 and 2013. Forty players had confirmed data on the level of the disc injury: 15 had "upper level" CDH (involving the uppermost vertebrae of the neck) while 25 had "lower level" injuries. Forty-five percent of the players were defensive backs and linebackers.
Rates of successful return to play after CDH surgery were analyzed. Most players—67 percent of those with upper-level CDH and 72 percent with lower-level injuries—were able to return to play after surgery and rehabilitation, with no significant differences between the two groups. In both groups, recovery time was about nine months. On average, players continued playing for about 44 games and three years after CDH surgery [...]
In 34 players, surgery consisted of spinal fusion (a procedure called anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, or ACDF). Four players developed degenerative disease at an adjacent vertebral level, requiring additional surgery. While this is a serious complication, it appeared to be no more frequent than in non-athletes undergoing ACDF.
Cervical disc herniation is common among NFL and other elite athletes in contact sports and appears to be more common in upper level discs than the general population. [...] For football players, the expected outcomes after CDH surgery—including the player's ability to continue to compete at a high level—are unclear. That's especially true for patients with upper-level CDH injuries.
The results suggest that most NFL players who undergo cervical spinal surgeries for CDH are able to resume their careers. Return to play, and level of performance after returning to competition, appear similar for players with upper-level versus lower-level cervical injuries. The authors note some important limitations of the study data, including potential "selection bias toward more prominent athletes."
Exactly. I'm of the opinion that they're very capable. They should be able to tell what his progress is and when he'd be able to return to duty.
I expect the med staff will be working with him on a routine basis. Hopefully, the team takes their advice and won't risk a premature re-injury.
Who said anything about getting Dean in the 5th? You don't understand the obvious comparison?
Payton Manning won a Super Bowl after spinal fusion surgery.
A Bills player (Coy Wire) played 47 of 48 games the 3 years following fusion surgery.
Vander Esch didn't miss a game last season after fusion surgery.
They never said for certain that Tyron had fusion surgery; however, it seems highly likely that it was fusion surgery.
- It was a surgery that he had avoided previously because he would have missed a season.
- He wouldn't have missed a season if he just needed a discectomy/diskectomy.
- 2021 is the 1st season in about 4 or 5 years that Tyron's back was not a problem.
- He missed some games because a player rolled up on his ankle, but his back was not a problem.
DeVonte Holloman had spinal stenosis. The same condition that caused Mike Irvin to retire.
In the past decade or two, information about player injuries had become very limited.
- Teams are very limited in that they can disclose about injury details due to HIPAA laws.
The probability that Damone Clark can play again at his previous level of physical ability is likely higher than the probability of many late round picks developing into a starter.
Correct. He never missed a snap due to the issue.
Reportedly it was the Cowboys medical staff that first noticed the issue after his combine physical.
It is interesting that Clark didn't try to get by with a less invasive surgery that would have allowed him to play in 2022 but would have just been a temporary fix.
- Romo tried less invasive surgery initially, but it was a temporary fix.
Tyron finally had the neck surgery that he avoided for about 4 years and he didn't have any neck/back issues in 2021.
No two spinal surgeries/fusions are alike. I assume he only had two discs fused. Time will tell. Playing and playing at the level you did before surgery can also be two different things. I have little doubt he’ll play.
Interesting point on Tyron because when we always heard back in the past I was wondering if it was actually really his neck or if it was perhaps both back and neck, but caused by the same issue. It would be great if those issues are behind him for good
You are correct, I was comparing a herniation to a slipped disk, a lot of times people think they are different. My bad. I'd like to blame it on being early in the morning, but probably just my old mind.
Yes, herniation means a rupture in the disc.
For non-athletes a Microdiscectomy can repair the rupture and some people never have any problems afterwards.
- Many years ago my Mom had a back issue that got so bad she was hospitalized and she couldn't function.
- A week after Microdiscectomy surgery, she was almost pain free and within a few months was pain free.
- It never bothered her again and that was over a 30 year time period.
Some athletes have success with Microdiscectomy; however, for football players, it is often just a temporary solution.
Specific to Damone Clark:
- It is possible that he had some pain; however, players often think it is from a shoulder issue.
- Moose Johnson had fusion surgery. He said that he had always thought the pain was due to a shoulder issue.
Disc Replacement Surgery
- There is now an option for Disc replacement.
- For athletes, fusion is the safer option because there is a possibility of the replacement disc become dislodged.
- For non-athletes replacement is a good option as of the past few years; although, not all insurance companies cover it.
Yes, it was his neck.
He avoided the surgery primarily because he would have missed a season.
- Since he was out early in the 2020 season, he was able to have the surgery without missing the following season.
For many people, back surgery is almost a miracle cure.
The statistics for profession athletes are difficult to discern because players are often already near the end of their career when they get major back surgery.
The symptoms are almost identical.
So we replace one LB with a neck issue with another one?
UDFA is all I would put on someone like this. No LB or RB can survive NFL punishment with spinal or neck injuries.
Either one could put pressure on the root nerve and cause pain, or not pressure the nerve and you would never know you had one.
I agree. Money will make you dumb!
I was wondering who Stephen was talking about during the press conference and completely forgot about Tyron. He had mentioned that somebody on our team had the surgery so they were familiar with it
Which vertebra was fused and was this a herniated disk that happened as an injury in a game or was it something that came on over time. Either way I'm not sure this guy will ever be the same. Where the fusion takes place the top and bottom disc's will take more abuse and wear out quicker. My brother had this.
They should've took the injury risk on Nakobe Dean.
Definitely more common for a herniation to put pressure on the nerve root or cord. Generally, if you are getting pain from either one, it's a matter of time before you get surgery. Basically it comes to a point where you just can't deal with the pain. Doctors often tell you to wait as long as you can.
Fortunately I have not experienced one, but in a past career I used to see medical reports and diagnostic imaging on people that had both herniations and bulges.