Mike Matusow Spinal Cord Surgery Could Have Left Him Paralyzed

October 30th, 2014 | by Kaycee James
Mike Matusow spinal surgery

Mike Matusow winning his fifth WSOP bracelet in 2013. Complications from recent spinal surgery could have left him paralyzed. (Image: WSOP.com)

Mike Matusow, the man affectionately known as “The Mouth” for his often outspoken and frequently brash comments, is down for the count, but not for long.

Matusow recently underwent major spinal surgery to correct a 7mm central disk protrusion that was cutting off the supply of blood to his central spinal cord.

According to a tweet from Phil Hellmuth, “The Mouth” experienced serious complications during surgery, which could have resulted in paralysis, but it was ultimately a success, and it now seems Matusow will soon be walking (and talking) again, with the help of some physical therapy.

Matusow took to social media this week to update his progress.

“Hi, all. Just checking in on letting everyone know how I have been doing. I just woke up as I’m still in hospital from my surgery that I had last Sunday. It was very difficult week but everything points to me walking again and making a full recovery with a lot of physical therapy on horizon on learning how to walk again,” he said on Facebook.

“I can’t begin to today how blessed I am to have such wonderful friends, fans and family who truly care. I’m looking forward to tackling another opstacal in my path once again that will make me even stronger. Thank you all one again and will be keeping everyone informed on my progress.”

Seems Mike is better at poker than he is at spelling or grammar.

Making Progress

A few days after leaving the hospital, Matusow said on Facebook that, while he was still in a lot of pain, he had made significant progress: “Amazing day, walked 50 feet today and have learned how to get out of bed and onto toilet all in one day whooo whooo!”

Too much information, Mikey.

Matusow had spent two and a half months trying to find out what was wrong with him, after experiencing chronic pain in his feet and muscle weakness. Finally, a thoracic MRI revealed the source of the problem.

Colorful Poker Figure

Despite a career dogged by controversy, Matusow remains a popular figure on the poker scene. Over the years he’s battled drug problems, depression, a stint in prison, and wild bankroll swings.

Most recently, Matusow was criticized by six-time bracelet winner Ted Forrest, who took to Twitter to reveal that he had yet to be paid for a much-publicized weight loss bet from 2010. Forrest bet Matusow $100,000 at 18/1 that he could lose 48 pounds in just 3 months. He won the seemingly impossible wager after adopting a rigorous diet and training regime that could have killed him, starving himself for 11 days and running 16 miles per day.

Forrest agreed to a long-term payout plan that would allow Matusow to pay $100,000 per year over the next 18 years; however, according to Forrest, four years later, Matusow has paid just $70,500. Both players were nominated this year for entry into the Poker Hall of Fame; neither made the cut, however.


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