Host: Let’s go ahead and talk a little pro football, specifically I want to talk Cowboy’s quarterback Tony Romo and that play last night. Joining us in the studio right now is Dr. John Michels. Thanks for being with us, Dr. Michels. You played pro football yourself in the ’90s for the Packers and now you’re a doctor, so you have a very good insight into what we all saw last night. What was your first thought when you saw Tony Romo go down?
Doctor Michels: It was a scary moment. The type of impact that he had with Cliff Avril going over his back, and that compression injury of his spine. When I saw him laying there clenching his back, I thought he was in serious trouble. That’s the type of injury that we see when someone ruptures a disk in their back, and something that could potentially be surgical.
Host: Now, we know Jerry Jones said last night that he wasn’t hurt. What’s your thought on that?
Doctor Michels: Well, I know they’re gonna take every precaution. Tony said he wanted to go back into the game. He’s a tough quarterback. He’s been through injuries before, but I think they’re gonna take every precaution right now and make sure that he truly is safe, because he used some key words last night when describing this injury. Burning sensation. He talked about weakness. That crunching sensation when Cliff Avril came over his back. Those are key words as a physician. When I’m evaluating back pain, I’m looking for to see is this something that is potentially surgical or something that’s gonna need a more aggressive intervention to treat.
Host: And those words that you were mentioning, what is that indicative of?
Doctor Michels: That would be a compression of a nerve root coming out of the spine where you can end up having weakness going down the leg to the foot. Those are things that are potentially more serious to treat.
Host: So we saw Tony Romo came out of the game. He didn’t go back in. Obviously they’re being very careful with him. If you were the team doctor, what would you advise?
Doctor Michels: Now I heard today that they ordered an MRI.
Host: Right, they did.
Doctor Michels: I think that is a safe thing to do, to evaluate whether he truly does have an injury or not and if this is something that is more serious. As a team doctor, we know that Tony Romo’s the key to this franchise going to the Super Bowl this year, so you want to protect him in every way you can. You want to make sure that he is gonna be good to go week one, and able to stay healthy for all 16 weeks of the season.
Host: All right. We haven’t even started week one yet, but we’re gonna be keeping a real close eye on him, and hopefully it is in fact not an injury that anyone has to worry about. Dr. Michels, thanks so much for joining us here in studio and explaining all that for us.
Doctor Michels: Thank you for having me in.
Host: We appreciate it.