Earl Campbell Recovering From Spine Surgery

Hall of Famer Earl Campell is recovering after extensive surgery on his spine.

The former John Tyler Lion and Houston Oiler had a revision laminectomy and a spinal fusion. That means surgeons partially removed bone so they could repair damage from his previous back surgeries.

Houston's Dr. Stan Jones removed eight screws and two rods in a surgery four weeks ago. The screws were put there in his five previous surgeries to help his spine, instead they were loose, pressing against nerves near his spine.

Former Oilers coach Bum Phillips sent Campbell to Dr. Jones. Surgery had been scheduled but Campbell's pain because so intense he showed up at the hospital a week early.

"I couldn't wait," Campbell said. "It's almost like a pregnant lady and your water broke that's the way it was with me. I had so much pain I couldn't take no more."

For doctors to repair Campbell's spine they used a bone graft , some artificial bone, and stem cells from his bone marrow to help it heal. 

Campbell is doing rehab and doctors say he should be able to walk without a walker and even jog without much pain.