Ask us about Kyphoplasty
Skip to main content

Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo’s Fractured Back Dr. John Michels Explains Live At Fox Studios


Tony Romo: It’s gonna, be okay, really I’m pretty excited about in some ways just because then I would’ve been able to take that same hit a couple years ago.

Speaker 2: Tony Romo seems to be in pretty good spirits after he took a hit last night during the preseason game with the Seahawks, a hit that effectively took him out of the game third play. An x-ray wasn’t needed and the Cowboys were determined to today, they would try to find out if he needs an MRI, we haven’t heard a report back. He’s suffered many back injuries during his career and underwent surgery in 2013. Last season he broke his collarbone, remember a couple of times, had to have surgery in March.

Speaker 3: Yeah, I think we all remember that. So here to talk about the injuries and also the game, Dr. John Michels. We appreciate you coming in tonight.

Dr. Michels: Thank you for having me.

Speaker 3: All right, so I want to make sure that I get all this right because you’ve got a really great perspective. Former NFL player, Super Bowl champ with the Green Bay Packers and injuries forced you to leave the game, now you’re a doctor into spine injuries and pain. So you can look at this from all things Tony Romo and football and the doctor’s side. So let’s start with what you thought when you saw the hit.

Dr. Michels: You know what? It was a horrific looking injury when he went down, seeing him hold his back. When Cliff Avril came over the top of him, he got bent over in an accordion style fashion and those kind of injuries can be really devastating for the spinal cord. So when I saw him not moving on the ground, I thought something devastating had happened.

Speaker 3: I think a lot of people did. We all kind of saw the pain and went …

Dr. Michels: I mean Jerry Jones talked about last night that he needed to go to the hospital to have his heart checked.

Speaker 3: For heart issues, exactly, make sure-

Dr. Michels: Just seeing his quarterback down.

Speaker 3: So let’s say that you’re Romo’s doctor, what do you say? Knowing that he has had back issues before, back surgery, collarbone issues and all these injuries. If you’re his doctor, what do you say to him?

Dr. Michels: So, not his team doctor, but his doctor.

Speaker 3: Just his personal doctor.

Dr. Michels: You know, this is a tricky question because as a personal doctor, you’re not requiring your patient to do the things that Tony Romo’s required to do. He’s paid millions of dollars a year to go out there and perform and no player in the National Football League is playing without aches and pains. So, as his personal physician, of course I’m going to tell him to rest and recover from this injury, but as his team physician, that’s a whole different story. You’re trying to find a way to get him back on the field and able to perform throughout the season.

Speaker 3: So do you think that that’s why, I guess for sort of crowd control perspective or saying such and hearing such positive things from the Cowboys and Romo and Jerry Jones, that okay we’re going to keep going forward, it’s all great.

Dr. Michels: There are definitely stories that you don’t want to get out there and especially if it’s your starting quarterback being injured. He did go have an MRI today, we don’t have the results of that back yet. Somebody does, we don’t have those results and they’re going to take every precaution that they can to make sure that Tony heals from this injury and is able to be the starting quarterback week one.

Speaker 3: All right, so now go back to being a player and when you were a player and on the field, putting yourself in Romo’s position. What do you do? Like you said, everybody’s playing with aches and pains. Do you just keep pushing forward and hope that it’s going to be okay?

Dr. Michels: Well you saw Tony’s instinct last night. He wanted to get back on the field. He’s going to the coaches and saying, hey I’m fine, let me go play, because that is our instinct and I played with a guy in Green Bay, Brett Favre who never missed a game, because he got his opportunity when Don Majkowski got injured and then Brett started that 300 game streak.

Speaker 3: That’s how it works, somebody gets hurt and the other person jumps in.

Dr. Michels: That’s it. And so Tony knows that, that there’s a young quarterback that’s there who is being groomed to take his job. He doesn’t want that to happen any sooner than it needs to.

Speaker 3: So what does Romo, what do the Cowboys say to the people who say … to the critics, who say that Romo just doesn’t have the stamina? Never did have the stamina and can’t keep going forward?

Dr. Michels: You know, I think that’s foolishness. Tony Romo is a tough athlete. He’s played through a lot of pain and he’s led the Cowboys to a lot of victories as their starting quarterback. These injuries are freak things that happen. This is the NFL, it is a tough, physical game. Guys are going to get hurt playing this game. Tony’s just had a few bad strings of luck. The collarbone issue, he had the back injury in 2014 and in 2013, but I think Tony Romo still has a lot of game in him. You’ve seen him, as he’s played in the preseason when he was healthy, that he was very productive out there and this Cowboys team needs him to be their leader throughout this season.

Speaker 3: Okay, so here’s your toughest question. Cowboys or Packers? Now that you’re here in Dallas.

Dr. Michels: You know, you have to love big D, but you know what? I bleed green and gold. I’m going to be a Packer through and through and that’s the team that selected me to play in the NFL and there’s something special about that place. When Green Bay is not playing Dallas, I’ll root for the Cowboys, but otherwise, I have to stay true to my Packers.

Speaker 3: Well, and to let everybody know kind of a side story here, I was working in Green Bay in 96 when you were there and followed the Packers to the Super Bowl, and it was a great time to be there. It was a great experience all those years ago.

Dr. Michels: Yep. 20 years ago this season. Unbelievable.

Speaker 3: And here we are in Dallas. Dr Michels, thank you so much for coming in.

Dr. Michels: Thank you for having me.

Speaker 3: Appreciate your perspective, thanks.


Interventional Spine and Pain
8222 Douglas Ave, 890
Dallas, TX 75225
Phone: 214-347-8970
Fax: 972-677-7790

Office Hours

Get in touch