In a series of tweets sent out just days before Christmas, Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long revealed that he had just undergone surgery that would “lead to much relief and success.” The next morning coach John Fox confirmed the report, indicating that the surgery was for a herniated disc in Long’s neck.
Long had been placed on injured reserve a few weeks earlier, with no specific mention made of a neck injury. But after posting a video of himself wearing a hospital gown, wearing a neck brace and with a variety of tubes in his nose and neck, he posted messages on his social media account explaining the need for his surgery:
“Crushed surgery today. Important procedure that will lead to much relief and success. Great doctors.”
“For people wondering about all my injuries; I’m gonna lay out a timeline for you and it will hopefully help paint a picture of what has transpired the last few years.”
“First three years I played every game except for one or two. I switched positions to help team in third year (also wanted a challenge) learned a lot about OL switching positions.”
“Fourth year, back to guard … healthy dominant and improving on a daily basis. Tore my labrum in preseason. Opted to play the year and be there for my team – plan was to fix after season.”
“Late in the fourth year I got rolled up in the pile and mangled my ankle. Surgery and rehab needed … no time for shoulder.”
“Fifth year coming in I was no where near 100% and I did what I could to play and help our young team. As year went on (as a result of shoulder) things happened in proximity of shoulder that were unfortunate. Neck became an issue.”
“Now is time for me to fix myself. Wanted you guys to hear it from me. I’m very excited about what the future holds for this team, and I’m jacked up about being healthy again.”
Long went on to thank his fans for their support and prayers.
The injury that Long suffered started with a tear of the labrum, a soft fibrous tissue rim that surrounds the shoulder socket to help stabilize the joint. The tear likely weakened the area, making him more vulnerable to neck injury and the chronic pain that followed.
Symptoms of a herniated cervical disc include neck, shoulder or arm pain, and numbness and tingling in the arm and fingers. There are several treatment options available for this condition from our New Jersey neck surgery practice, starting with modification of activity and medication and progressing on to physical therapy. If necessary, patients can turn to surgery, including anterior cervical discectomy and fusion or a complete disc replacement.
The first step is always getting an accurate diagnosis. To set up an appointment to put yourself back on the road to health, contact our office today.