You may think you’ve never heard of Raymond Teller, but if you combine his last name with the name of his partner, Penn Jillette, you will probably smile in recognition.
The two have been doing comedy magic productions together for forty years, and in that time they have missed a total of 4 shows. But in the last few days they shut down their Las Vegas and Biloxi Mississippi shows to allow Teller, the more diminutive of the two, to have desperately needed spinal fusion surgery.
Spinal fusion is the surgery of choice for those who have eliminated all of their non-surgical options. It is a surgery that our lumbar spine specialist in New Jersey practice does frequently, using minimally invasive techniques to widen the spinal canal and remove all or part of any herniated discs in the lower back.
Once the damaged discs are removed, a bone graft is placed where the discs once rested, providing support, stabilization and reinforcement to the vertebrae left behind. Titanium screws and rods are also inserted next to the bone graft to provide stability.
Though the two had long planned to shut down their show in the future to allow for Teller’s surgery, a performance last Wednesday had Teller in such tremendous pain that he skipped the usual post-show meet and greet for the first time in 43 years, and the surgery date was moved up, with the surgery was done on Monday. Their shows will resume on August 18th.
When asked why the surgery was needed, Teller said that it is the “result of hanging from straightjackets and climbing in and out of boxes for more than 40 years.”
He tweeted out to his Twitter followers and fans, saying, “My sincere apologies to our fans in Biloxi and folks who were planning on seeing the Vegas show. Last night during the show my back firmly ordered me to cut the crap and get it fixed. So I’m stopping work from today till August 18th and getting my back surgery pronto. Love – T.”
Later he added, “In our entire prior career, I think we’ve had to cancel only four shows on short notice. So I (and much of our crew) feel disoriented and befuddled — as if we’re in one of those showbiz nightmares where you can’t find your way back to the stage in time for the next cue.”
Jillette also posted, “Teller is getting his back totally fixed a little sooner than expected. So P&T are on hiatus from everything until August 18th and then the boys will be back and bad!”
Lumbar spinal fusion surgery has been shown to provide patients with immediate relief of their lower back pain, as well as pain in the legs, hips and buttocks. It is offered for patients diagnosed with a variety of back conditions, including disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, and lumbar spinal stenosis.
If you are suffering from lower back pain and conservative approaches have not worked for you, contact our New Jersey lumbar spine specialist for a comprehensive examination, diagnosis, and treatment plan to provide you with relief and a return to a higher quality of life.