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Nathan Horton Trying Many Alternatives To Relieve Back Pain But May Face Career Ending Surgery

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

Blue Jackets forward Nathan Horton is stuck in a living hell and facing a torturous decision.

Horton, who hasn’t played since April, is in near constant pain — sometimes agony — because of a degenerative back injury that has derailed his NHL career.

“I can’t stand up like a normal person; I can’t bend over,” Horton said in his first public comments about his condition. “I can’t run. I can’t play with my kids. To get in and out of the car, I’m like a 75-year-old man … so slow and stiff. I can’t sleep at night. I try to lay down and my back seizes up and I can’t move, so sleeping is out. I’m like a zombie in the daytime.”

But the alternative to dealing with such misery is just as awful. Horton could have surgery to relieve the pain, but the procedure — likely a three- or four-level spinal fusion with a titanium rod — would mean the end of his NHL career at only 29 years old.

“I don’t want to have surgery, because of what that means,” Horton said, his voice breaking behind a smile. “I don’t want to live with this pain, but I don’t want to make that decision. It’s hard for me to say that, at 29 years old, I’m done. I mean, really? Done at 29?”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nathan+horton

Comments

Canucklehead's avatar

That’s lousy news.  Always liked Horton as a player.  Good solid player.

I’ve had my share of back issues over the years, but nothing quite like what he’s going through.  The first few months after a back injury were bad, but I’m mostly back to normal.  I couldn’t imagine having to make a decision that will end a career, especially one that he’s obviously worked so hard his whole life to reach.

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 11/13/14 at 08:29 AM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

I know EXACTLY what he’s going through. 3 degenerative lumbar discs. It sucks as much as you can imagine. I’ve always liked Horton and thought he’d be a good player for the Wings. Too bad.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 11/13/14 at 09:56 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I know EXACTLY what he’s going through. 3 degenerative lumbar discs. It sucks as much as you can imagine. I’ve always liked Horton and thought he’d be a good player for the Wings. Too bad.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 11/13/14 at 09:56 AM ET

Chris, I haven’t seen anyone yet fully explain what the “degenerative” part is that’s happening with Horton.  Can you shed some light on what has happened with Horton?  What makes it degenerative and triggers it?  Is it severe injury, is it genetic, etc?  What is going on there?

Posted by Primis on 11/13/14 at 12:51 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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