January 27, 2011
The Vancouver Canucks announced Thursday that defenseman Alex Edler, who missed Wednesday's game against the Nashville Predators due to back spasms, will undergo microdiscectomy surgery on his back and is out indefinitely.
"After consultation with our physicians it was decided that surgery was the best course of action," said Mike Gillis.
"The best long term decision for Alex and our hockey club was to have the surgery immediately."
Since we're all experts now, thanks to the Interwebs, here's Spinal-Health.com on microdiscectomy surgery
In a microdiscectomy or microdecompression spine surgery, a small portion of the bone over the nerve root and/or disc material from under the nerve root is removed to relieve neural impingement and provide more room for the nerve to heal.
Impingement on the nerve root (compression) can cause substantial leg pain. While it may take weeks or months for the nerve root to fully heal and any numbness or weakness to get better, patients normally feel relief from leg pain almost immediately after a microdiscectomy spine surgery.
So while "indefinitely" means ... well, "indefinitely," it would appear as though the recovery time on this isn't a "shut down for the season" thing. But then again, we stopped learning about medicine when "E.R." was cancelled (sorry, "House" and "Grey's" fans).
The sooner, the better for the Canucks. Edler leads the team in total average time on ice (24:23), power-play time (3:52) and is fourth on Vancouver in scoring with 32 points. His tandem with Christian Ehrhoff(notes) is, without question, one of the best in the league this season, at a plus-19.
Considering this news: Best of luck to Sami Salo(notes) in his continued recovery, well-done GM Mike Gillis in keeping Kevin Bieksa(notes) and congratulations to Lee Sweatt(notes) for picking a heck of a time to make an impression.