Risk for Manning

February 4, 2012

As a second medical opinion, I would agree with Dr. Woody Myers [Jan. 23 Forefront]. I am an admirer of Peyton Manning and appreciate his achievements in his 13 years as quarterback for our Colts. Also, he has contributed so much to our community, including the Children’s Pavilion at St. Vincent Hospital.

However, if the medical reports are correct as printed, and I assume they are, it would be hazardous to perform as quarterback. A helmet, shoulder, arm or leg impinging on the neck could easily crack the fusion pin. The spinal cord traverses the neck and an injury to it could cause paralysis of muscles of the extremities and respiration.

I had a fusion pin break in my lower back after surgery a few years ago for spinal stenosis, but it was below the spinal cord. I had complications but not those had it been in the cervical area—like paralysis.

If needed, please obtain a third opinion.

Dr. George Rawls
Assistant dean emeritus
Indiana University School of Medicine

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