Sports doctor and former WWE consulting physician Dr. David Chao has provided insight into Big E’s neck injury, saying that it could lead to the end of his wrestling career.
On the March 11th edition of SmackDown, Big E suffered a serious neck injury during a match that saw him teaming with Kofi Kingston to take on Sheamus and Ridge Holland.
After Big E fell to the outside, he was given an overhead Belly to Belly Suplex by Holland. However, instead of Big E flipping all the way over and landing on his back, he landed on his head and neck.
The former WWE Champion posted a video on Twitter the following day explaining that he had injured his C1 and C6 vertebrae.
“C1 and C6 are indeed fractured, no displacement though, which is a very good thing. I don’t have any damage to my spinal cord, no ligament damage, and no surgery, which I’m very thankful for.”
— Ettore “Big E” Ewen (@WWEBigE) March 12, 2022
In an article for Outkick.com, sports doctor David Chao, who has worked as a consulting physician for WWE, explained that the injuries could lead to the end of Big E’s wrestling career since the C1 fracture could heal incompletely.
“The C1 fracture is most dangerous as the top cervical vertebrae is a ring and is commonly associated with immediate death or complete paralysis. Thankfully the fracture was not displaced and he will not need surgery. However, this type of fracture often heals incompletely and it may mean the end of his wrestling career.”
Turning to the C6 fracture, Chao says that it will require at least three months of recovery time,
“The C6 fracture is likely a compression injury to the vertebral body. This likely requires immobilization but not surgery. One would anticipate a minimum of three-month recovery with return to full function and activities for this lower cervical injury.”
Overall, however, Chao believes Big E was “quite lucky” considering the circumstances