X Japan Drummer Yoshiki to Undergo Emergency Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery
X Japan plans are a bit in flux at the moment, as the band's drummer Yoshiki is planning to undergo emergency cervical artificial disc replacement surgery on May 16 in Los Angeles. That has led to a cancellation of all immediate May promotional activities for the band, with the possibility of rescheduling the group's July tour dates and Yoshiki's own Premium Dinner Show dates in August and September as well as the yet-to-be-announced summer tour under consideration.
As a result of Yoshiki's intense drumming style and the impact it has had on his physical health, he was diagnosed with cervical foraminal stenosis in July 2009, and then underwent a cervical laminectomy and a cervical foraminotomy.
After suffering from a herniated disc that has worsened over the past six months, the musician started experiencing symptoms including numbness and severe paralysis of the left hand and arm, which have since been affecting his musical performances. Upon receiving a complete examination by his doctors in both Japan and the U.S., Yoshiki was diagnosed with cervical foraminal stenosis (radiculopathy of the left arm and herniation of intervertebral disc C5-C6). After thorough consultation, it was determined that he had no choice but to undergo surgery at this time.
Yoshiki was informed by a neurosurgeon in Japan that his neck has experienced severe damage that would force a professional rugby player to retire. It has been medically determined that he is approaching his limit, both physically and mentally. The musician continued to play both solo dates and with X Japan at events around the world, in addition to a heavy travel schedule brought on by the promotion of the We Are X documentary that has screened in many countries.
"I had the pleasure of seeing Yoshiki, who has a C5-6 disc herniation with left arm radiculopathy. He has been recommended to have a cervical artificial disc replacement," explains Neel Anand, M.D., Yoshiki's orthopedic spine surgeon in the U.S.
Dr. Tommy Tomizawa, M.D. adds, "It was decided upon consultation that he will undergo emergency surgery as the condition of his neck at present will interfere not only with his career as an artist, but also with everyday life. From viewing the results of the MRI and CT scans, the damage is so severe that it is apparent that he has experienced considerable pain while performing. As this would be his second such procedure, we eliminated the option of a cervical foraminotomy, an operation in which a portion of bone is removed. Yoshiki's symptoms reappeared at the Visual Japan Summit festival, which was held last October in Japan. By the time he performed in January of this year at New York's Carnegie Hall, he had already lost the sensation in his left hand. The symptoms worsened this March following the U.K. Wembley performance, but he continued recording. Even in his condition at that state, Yoshiki stated that he wanted to see things through to the end. However, due to the worsening of his symptoms, doctors, determined that if the situation continued he would have gone beyond the point of surgery and recovery."
"Following Yoshiki's operation, a discussion whether to cancel, postpone or move forward as scheduled will be held amongst the agent, promoter and management. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience this will cause to fans and everyone involved," stated the band's management. We'll keep you informed as more details about the band and Yoshiki's post operation plans become clearer.
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