|04-27-2003, 10:38 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: New Brunswick, NJ, USA
Wrestling: Kurt Angle's Recent Neck Surgery
Extensive Details On Kurt Angle's Recent Neck Surgery
Talk about Extensive Details On Kurt Angle's Recent Neck Surgery on Impact Fan Forum
Impact Reporter: Ryan Clark
The following are highlights of Kurt Angles segment on Confidential last night:
Gene returns with praise for Our Olympic Hero-we're reminded Kurt won a gold medal at the '96 Olympic games while wrestling with a broken neck. His career in the biz hasn't exactly treated his neck with kindness, and recently he's re-aggravated some existing injuries. Only option-surgery, which usually requires a year of recovery time. However, Kurt's opted for a procedure that may see him back in the ring within a few months.
Video rolls of some of the many highlights of Kurt's career, both in the ring and on the mic. Cut to footage from the Smackdown immediately following Wrestlemania 19-Stephanie McMahon announced that Kurt would be out for 'as long as 2 months due to hamstring and neck injuries'.
We hear from the man himself, pre-surgery. He describes his current physical and mental condition as 'hard to explain'. He admits that his neck had forced him into a constant regimen of pain killers.
Kurt's wife Karen states he's been in pain since the day they met.
Kurt describes his neck pain as excruciating, states pain-induced migraine headaches have been a regular occurrence for the last 7 years (ugh....).
We move onto specifics on Kurt's most recent match-at WM19, he lost the WWE Championship to Brock Lesnar. Going in, Kurt felt he'd be OK. We cut to match footage-Kurt had the ankle lock applied until Brock made it to the ropes. Kurt then tried to drag Brock back to the center of the ring, but ended up taking a big bump to the back of the head after being kicked away-Kurt describes feeling a 'pop' in his neck. One F-5 later, Kurt knew his neck was done for the night.
Kurt goes into details on his neck problems-calcium buildup due to constant wear and tear, multiple bone spurs sticking into his spinal cord and 2 herniated discs. He also has nerve damage that affects his left arm.
We hear from the neurosurgeon that worked on Kurt, Dr. Hai-Dong Jho. Using a model of the spinal column, Dr. Jho describes the conventional treatment of neck injuries-damaged discs are completely removed and the vertebrae are fused together, using tiny portions of bone removed from the patient's body in place of the discs. Dr. Jho's procedure involves removal of bone spurs and only the damaged portions of the discs.
Back to Kurt, who (in my opinion slightly nervously) expresses hope the surgery will provide relief from his chronic neck pain.
Footage rolls of Kurt under the knife, then we see Dr. Jho informing Kurt's family the surgery was a success. Cut to Kurt groggily waking up post-surgery. Thinking a direct quote may be in order here: "I feel pretty good. I woke up, and besides having the hangover...I feel instant relief. (While carefully turning his neck from side to side) I'm moving my neck. I don't have that clip in my spinal cord right now...it's a miracle. (Pause.) But you never know what's going to happen, hopefully I'll get back into the lineup and if I can stay in there for a while and stay injury free, then I'll know I made the right move." Straight to a break.
|05-03-2003, 10:14 AM||#2|
No Holds Barred: Angle ready to rumble after neck injury
No Holds Barred: Angle ready to rumble after neck injury
By Jan Murphy
Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 07:00
Local News - 'The difference from before
the surgery and after is nothing but a miracle." These words come from a man who won an Olympic gold medal with a broken neck.
Let's just say that Kurt Angle, the World Wrestling Entertainment superstar, has nothing on Kurt Angle, the man.
Angle, who chatted with yours truly last week, is spending some rare time away from the squared circle recovering from neck surgery.
But don't expect this workhorse to be sitting at home for long. In fact, Angle says he'll be back in about three weeks.
"I don't like taking time off," said the man who missed a grand total of three days after having knee surgery. "If I really had to, I could go [back] right now but I'm enjoying time with my wife and my baby."
That Angle is preparing to return to the ring mere weeks after his surgery is nothing short of miraculous when you consider the problems he's had with his neck since breaking it months before the 1996 Olympic Games. There's been calcium buildup, bone spurs, two discs jammed against his spinal cord, nerve damage, spinal damage and all around wear and tear.
Enter Dr. Hae-Dong Jho, the neurosurgeon who may have saved Angle's career - not mention his life - but may have also saved the WWE in the process. The company can ill afford to have arguably its top performer out of action for a year, which is the normal shelf time for superstars who've undergone neck surgery.
Jho performed the surgery, which Angle described as more of a cleaning up procedure than a repair, in Angle's hometown of Pittsburgh on April 11. Fifteen days later, Angle told No Holds Barred he was basically good to go.
Kind of makes you wonder what the long-term prospects are concerning Angle's health.
"I don't see this affecting anything long term," Angle said. "I've always had neck problems. I'm going to be more careful in the future."
Let's hope so, anyway.
Angle was asked how his close friend and fellow superstar Edge took the news when he heard, only days after surgery on his own neck that will keep him out for at least a year, that Angle was to have a less invasive procedure that would put him back in the ring in no time.
"Edge made the right move," Angle said, adding that he's in constant communication with his friend. "I just had a different belief. I made my own decision based on my own opinion."
Unfortunately, neck injuries have become commonplace in the high-flying, risk-taking wrestling world. Besides Angle and Edge, serious neck injuries have sidelined Stone Cold Steve Austin, Rhyno, Chris Benoit and Lita among others.
While Austin's injury is regarded as the worst neurosurgeon Dr. Lloyd Youngblood has seen, Angle says his is a close second.
"[Austin's] and mine are almost exactly the same. Dr. Youngblood compared mine to Steve's," Angle said.
The only difference at this stage is that Austin appears to have wrestled his last match, while Angle is getting ready for his next one.
Considering the frightening number of neck injuries to befall the WWE, I asked Angle whether the company pressures superstars to perform risky moves and take the dangerous bumps that often lead to such injuries. He answered quickly and matter-of-factly.
"No. If anything, the company has told us to stop." Angle said today's wrestling crowd - a demanding truly bunch - and stiff competition in the industry probably have as much to do with risky moves and dangerous bumps as anything.
Take Brock Lesnar, for instance.
Lesnar, who defeated Angle for the WWE championship prior to Kurt's surgery, nearly joined the injured-neck club during their match at WrestleMania.
With Angle down late in the match, the 300-pound Lesnar climbed the ropes and attempted a Shooting Star Press, a dangerous move for any performer, let alone a man the size of Lesnar. The attempt was unsuccessful and Lesnar landed on his face, rendering him concussed and bloodied. Angle cites this as a perfect example of competition and the desire to impress fans driving a superstar to push the envelope.
"The fans come to watch Brock compete," Angle said. "They don't come to watch him do a Shooting Star Press." Angle said he admired not only Lesnar's courage, but his guts to be able to finish the match.
So perhaps, it was suggested to Angle, it's time for a change.
A few weeks ago, during an interview on The Score, The Undertaker was asked what needs to happen to reduce the number of serious injuries threatening the profession. The Dead Man said superstars need to return to more traditional moves and matches.
Angle agreed with Taker's assessment.
"I feel the same way. I'd love to go back to more traditional wrestling," said the man who built his legacy around legitimate wrestling.
Obviously something needs to be done. Let's just hope it's done sooner rather than later. At the very least, Dr. Jho has graciously delivered one of the greatest pro and amateur wrestlers in the world back into the hands of the WWE and its fans.