Nikki Bella opens up about her herniated disc and the surgery that could change her career
If you’ve been wondering why Nikki Bella has had one lone appearance on Raw since last fall, wonder no more: As first revealed by E! News Monday afternoon, she’s been battling a herniated disc that has kept her out of action for almost three months. Now, see what The Fearless One had to say to WWE.com about her injury, and her final tweet before the procedure that could determine the fate of her career.
WWE.COM: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. How are you feeling physically?
NIKKI BELLA: I’m not feeling great, but I’m still trucking. I’m doing good, but of course, not feeling 100%.
WWE.COM: We’ve only seen you on Raw a handful of times since October. Can you explain where you’ve been for the past few months?
NIKKI: I have a pretty badly herniated disc in my C-6 and C-7. And I will be getting surgery. We are hoping that a bone fusion will fix this injury, which makes mine a little more complicated than others [because] a piece of my disc is behind my vertebrae. We are hoping we can go around the vertebrae and fish it out, but we won’t know until I’m out of surgery.
WWE.COM: So this surgery isn’t exploratory, you’re actually trying to fix the disc.
NIKKI: I’m trying to fix it. No matter what, we’re going to fix the disc. I’ll have a plate and three screws in me. I will officially be The Bionic Woman: Unstoppable and unbreakable. [Laughs]
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WWE.COM: When did you first realize you had suffered the injury?
NIKKI: I started feeling it in July, right before the Australian tour. There was something different with my body and the more and more I kept wrestling, the more I knew something was off. It was probably a week before Night of Champions that I knew something was definitely wrong and I needed to get an MRI.
WWE.COM: What did the MRI reveal at that point?
NIKKI: It was kind of weird because where I’m injured is a very rare spot to be injured and it made the doctors confused. So I had to see a few specialists, and we felt if I rested if for a few months, the disc would get smaller, or if I got a cortisone epidural, it would get smaller. From October until now, we’ve just been getting different opinions and seeing what works, but I finally met with one of the top neurosurgeons in the country and he knew exactly what it is and exactly what to do.
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I will officially be The Bionic Woman.WWE.COM: So you’re going into surgery and you’re trying to fix the problem. Assuming everything goes well, have the doctors given you any kind of idea as to what your rehabilitation process will be?
NIKKI: I’m going to have to be in a neck brace for three months. I won’t be able to travel and during those three months, we’ll start to see if the bone is accepting the fusion [with X-rays], but I will not be able to set foot in a wrestling ring for six months.
WWE.COM: John Cena’s been through a few injuries, included a herniated disc in 2008, and you mentioned after your last injury that he was a strong source of support for you then. Did he give you any advice this time around?
NIKKI: The reason why we were able to catch it now is because of him. He always taught me that health is No. 1. Without health, we’re nothing. He’s the reason I got the MRI, and I know he’s the reason I’ll be back stronger than ever. He’s been there for me every step of the way, and he’s helped me make it positive. I honestly don’t know what I would do without him, and I hate that he’s injured, but now I’ll get to have him every day to help me get back. It’s going to be awesome. Like living with a personal life coach.
WWE.COM: Will we get to see your rehabilitation process on “Total Divas”?
NIKKI: The cameras never stop filming, so you’ll get to see this whole process step by step. Unfortunately, they’re not allowed to go inside doctors’ offices with me, but they’ve been there on the car rides, when I walk in, when I walk out. I even filmed a meeting with one of the doctors. They’re going to be there for the surgery and they’re going to be there for my whole rehab.
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WWE.COM: Lastly, do you have anything to say to your fans as you begin this process?
NIKKI: Definitely. Their love and support has meant the world to me. They’re the reason why I haven’t given up and why I’m determined to be stronger than ever. One day, no matter what it is I do in the ring, you’ll definitely see Nikki Bella back sooner than later.
This isn't the end for me. This is the beginning of a new chapter, of a test of will and strength. This is my comeback.— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) January 25, 2016
UPDATE: Before heading into surgery, Nikki posted an image of herself, Brie and brother J.J.all wearing her signature "Fearless" shirts in the hospital waiting room. John Cena also posted a message of his own.
Showing our love and support!!! pic.twitter.com/nhwAyZjV2T— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) January 27, 2016
What a strong woman! That smile makes me melt. Asking u to keep @BellaTwins in your thoughts 2day #StayFearless pic.twitter.com/UAugKbbJYk— John Cena (@JohnCena) January 27, 2016
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