Eddie Sutton To Undergo Surgery Thursday

STILLWATER, Okla. - At the advice of doctors, Coach Eddie Sutton will undergo surgery Thursday to address a chronic back and hip health problem. The following statements from the attending surgeon, Coach Sutton, OSU System CEO and President David Schmidly and VP of Athletics Mike Holder provide additional information.

James A. Rodgers MD, Surgeon
"Coach Sutton has suffered for several years with pain radiating from his back into his hips. Diagnostic testing over the past 18 months has confirmed that Coach Sutton suffers from advanced lumbar degenerative disc disease and, as a result, spinal stenosis. In an effort to avoid surgery, we have treated him conservatively with lumbar epidural steroid injections over the past year. We have also been treating Coach Sutton with medication to strengthen his bones.

"We are pleased to report recent tests show dramatic improvement in his bone density, making surgery possible. While initially beneficial at managing the pain, in recent months, the injections have not been as effective and the pain has only intensified. Delaying surgery is no longer a viable treatment option. The disabling pain and his arrowed spine have left us no other reasonable treatment option than to perform a lumbar spinal decompression. In other words, we are going to create more room for the nerves, thus addressing and helping his chronic pain.

"As Coach Sutton has said and many have advised, he is going to focus at this time on addressing his health concerns. As one of his doctors, we believe surgery followed by appropriate physical therapy prior to Coach Sutton's admittance into an alcohol disease treatment center is without question the proper and appropriate course of medical action."

Eddie Sutton, OSU Head Basketball Coach
"I am humbled by the support I continue to receive and appreciate more than you will know the words of encouragement. This remains a difficult period. The surgery is the first step in addressing my physical pain and my problem with alcohol. I ask that you continue to pray for my recovery."

David Schmidly, OSU System CEO and President
"We join with many others in wishing Coach Sutton only the very best in his surgery this week. We respect the straight-forward manner in which he is addressing his health matters and he can be assured that he and Patsy are foremost in our thoughts and prayers at this time."

Mike Holder, OSU Vice President for Athletics
"We trust the surgery will be a complete success. We know nothing makes Coach Sutton feel better than a big win as we had this past Sunday against Texas. We hope that the team can help Coach Sutton's recovery with a few more victories. We commend Coach Sutton for moving forward to address his health concerns and we also commend Sean and the coaching staff for doing an outstanding job."

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