translating from his website: http://evgeni-plushenko.com/forum/vi...t=6&start=2090
Director of the clinic where Plushenko is being treated Igor Pyatigorski:
Our clinic has a department specialized in sport trauma, so Evgeni Plushenko was advised to come to us for examination. During the examination, his physician, a surgeon, the one who is treating him, Dr. Ilya Pekarski (a very good man and a wonderful spinal surgeon) examined Evgeni, checked his MRI that the patient brought with him, ... checked his foot functioning, and recommended the surgery. His MRI clearly stated that his disk is destructed, his foot was weak. This means that the nerve is pinched, therefore the leg will be always weak and in pain.
If it' just pain, we usually choose to treat with medication, injections, etc. But if the nerve is compressed, then we offer the surgery.
When yesterday the operation began, he saw that the situation is actually much worse than it could have been predicted by MRI. It turned out that he had an old hernia (which he had treated several times, by the way) and a new hernia, the one that compresses the nerve. It is in the lumbosacral spine. This department is responsible for the strength of legs, and exactly there he had a hernia that was compressing the nerve. It was not only the pressure, but the disk was completely destroyed. It was destroyed to the point that there was the second hernia that was also pressing on the nerve. In such situation it was necessary to do the surgery.
The operation was supposed to be for two hours, but in fact it lasted more than three. During the operation they removed the destructed disc and put the disc from the polymeric material. I got furious when today I read that the disk was plastic. In fact, it is a very complex polymer material, very strong, and it is no worse than our natural disk given us by God. So he replaced it completely, put the polymer material, moreover, he also put a dynamic silicone clamp. Why do we need that clamp- it's like a spring that took some certain function: since Evgeni's disk was worn out and we had to replace it with the artificial one, we had to keep the height of the spine that Zhenya had before the injury. So, with the new disk and the clamp we brought Evgeni's spine in its primary state, as if he was born just yesterday.
Igor, please could you tell us how Eugene could skate on the ice, not mentioning his results and wins.
We are all Russian people, Russian-speaking people, I do not need to quote what Doctor Pekarski said, I don't think newspapers will write that. We believe that even every day routine in the gym was hard, it was hard to live with such pain.
How could Zhenya skate and achieve such success in the sport with his back condition? Well, I guess it is because he is not an average man, he is the Olympic champion. When you talk about these people, keep in mind that they are not ordinary people. Evgeni suffered too much, he basically lived on painkillers all the time. That was bad.
When the initial examination was taking place (I again jump to the pre-op period), he almost did not feel his leg. This indicated that the nerve was pinched and it didn't give the full feeling, so, perhaps, ironically sometimes Evgeni felt less pain. But it also resulted in a weak foot, the foot wasn't strong enough. But last night after the surgery Doctor Pekarski told me: look, immediately after the surgery Evgeni felt the power in his toes - that's why Dc. Pekarski believes that the operation was successful. This means that the nerve is completely released. And after he is healed (his back - everything is on the screws there now), the pain will end and in 6-8 weeks Evgeni will be able to train. I think he will be able to fully realize that he is finally a healthy person. And to feel strength in the leg. He will feel much better and we hope that he will win the Sochi Olympics with honour!
Is Evgeni the first figure skater who got the polymeric disk?
Pyatigorski: I do not know. In our clinic Zhenya is indeed the first skater who went through this surgery. In fact, this is not some know-how, we have been using this method for five years. We had basketball players such as brothers Lavrinovichi, Smodis, ice-hockey players who went through such operations, they all have returned to their active sport career and playing now. In principle, this operation is not some top ones. Another thing is this particular one was quite a difficult thing because the disk was very badly damaged. This shows just how hard it was for him to skate. Now he's one hundred percent recovered, he now walk already!