Shane Carwin underwent successful back surgery this past Tuesday to repair the injury that forced him to pull out of his UFC 125 bout with Roy Nelson.
Carwin’s manager, Jason Genet, noted on his Twitter earlier this week that the heavyweight underwent a “foraminotomy,” which is a “decompression surgery that is performed to enlarge the passageway where a spinal nerve root exits the spinal canal” according to Spineuniverse.com. The procedure took four hours and required drilling into Carwin’s skull to repair nerve damage and problems with his C5, C6 and C7 discs.
Genet told MMAFighting.com that the surgery was a success although it was still worse than they expected, and the former top contender will not be allowed any physical contact for 8-12 weeks.
“It went as good as it could have, but it was worse than we thought it was, if that makes sense,” said Genet. “His body was out of whack and it could have caused some severe damage if it had not been addressed.
“When he woke up, the pain in his back where knife-pain was in the last few weeks was gone, he could feel his fingers, and the numbness was gone.”
Genet told MMAFighting last month that Carwin’s injuries have nagged him for some time but that the fighter has pushed through with the aid of painkillers and physical therapy. The injuries have gotten bad enough to cause numbness in Carwin’s arm, prompting the fighter to seek a long term medical solution. After realizing that his options were limited to prolonged physical rehabilitation with no training and no guarantee of success or corrective surgery, the fighter and his team decided to deal with the injuries once and for all.
“There doctor said he was surprised Shane could compete with the damage as it was, but with the surgery, there’s no reason he won’t be able to fight and possibly even perform at a higher level,” Genet said. “Once Shane gets back into the motions, we think it’ll be relatively quick for him to get into fighting shape. He’s not a guy who has a lot of ring rust.”
Carwin, who has not fought since losing to Brock Lesnar in a title fight last July, has battled back/neck injuries for a good portion of his athletic career and so it is that Genet believes he will bounce back from his November 2nd-scheduled surgery without issue.
Carwin sports a professional MMA record of 12-1, with all of his fights prior to the Lesnar bout ending via knockout. It is unknown when he will be able to return to action.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.