UPMC Drs. David Okonkwo, Joseph Maroon perform spine surgery on Steelers’ Ryan Shazier: 5 things to know

Orthopedic Sports Medicine

 University of Pittsburgh Medical Center surgeons performed spine surgery on Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier Dec. 6, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Here are five things to know:


1. Mr. Shazier suffered the spinal injury Dec. 4 during a game in Cincinnati. He was airlifted to Pittsburgh Dec. 6.


2. The Steelers' team physicians David Okonkwo, MD, and Joseph Maroon, MD, performed the spinal stabilization surgery. Drs. Okonkwo and Maroon are also neurosurgeons at UPMC.


3. Anthony Alessi, MD, a neurologist and consultant with the NFL Player's Association, told ESPN the outlook for Mr. Shazier's return-to-play isn't favorable. Dr. Alessi commented the linebacker might not ever be able to return to football.


4. Dr. Okonkwo is the clinical director of University of Pittsburgh's Brain Trauma Research Center. He completed his neurosurgery fellowship at Auckland Public Hospital.


5. Dr. Maroon completed his fellowship at Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington. He is a clinical professor and Heindl Scholar in neuroscience at University of Pittsburgh.


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