What is back stabilization surgery and rehab Johnny Knox

Johnny Knox is a wide receiver for the Chicago Bears. His career is off to a good start, but he suffered a horrific injury last year. Playing against the Seattle Seahawks he was bent backwards.


It is amazing he’s still alive and can walk. Word comes that he will play in the 2012 season after vertebrae stabilization surgery. For reference, here is the video of his injury:

The news report quotes him as saying:

No, for me I’m just taking it day by day. No rush. Like I’ve said, rehab is going well. I’m not trying to rush things and mess things up any worse, so I’m just taking it day by day.

What is back stabilization surgery and rehab Johnny Knox PhotoWhat is back stabilization surgery?

The point of the surgery is to ensure the vertebrae of the spine do not move on their own, that they are anchored. The vertebral column of a human allows for many functions. Knox suffered an injury where his spine was moved into a very unnatural position. The surgery is stabilized the location and movement of his spine.

Why do you need it?

In most cases it is needed to ensure permanent damage doesn’t occur after a traumatic injury. In Knox’s case this was due to his vicious bending of his spine in the opposite direction.

How long does it take to recover?

This is major surgery, so you’re looking at the initial recovery phase and then months of physical therapy. The fact Knox is talking about playing in 2012 is amazing, as most people would be happy to regain normal life functions.


  1. I was at the live scene when Johnny Knox’s back was bent at the time of hi3 injury. It was seriously bad as his back bent 180 degrees backwards, and I really can’t imagine how insane the ordeal he was put through… It’s literally a miracle that he can even walk right now, let alone play for the 2012 season! Kudos to his determination, for being a living miracle!

  2. Miracle is right. When you watch the video you get a sense that this might be it for him.

    To be walking again, let alone considering playing in the NFL is miraculous.

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