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Bobby Jenks was “leaking spinal fluid” from “an error done inside” during nightmare back surgery

Feb 23, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Bobby Jenks Getty Images

Bobby Jenks was placed on the 60-day disabled list by the Red Sox earlier this week following two back surgeries and a pulmonary embolism, and today the reliever shared the details of his nightmarish offseason with Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Once he was recovered from the pulmonary embolism Jenks underwent spinal surgery in mid-December and was recovering at his home in Arizona when he needed a second, emergency surgery on December 30 due to an “error” made during the first operation:

I don’t know whose fault it was. But there was an error done inside. I had four bone spurs on my spine. We talked about taking the top two out. The third one was started and not finished. So basically there was a serrated edge that sliced me open in two different spots and I was leaking spinal fluid.

“There was a serrated edge that sliced me open in two different spots and I was leaking spinal fluid” sounds like basically the worst thing of all time, but there’s even more. Jenks described how his “muscles were so torn open” and the pain was “excruciating,” along with concerns that the infection could potentially spread to his brain.

Jenks is in the second season of a two-year, $12 million contract, but his ability to pitch at all in 2012 is in question. He appeared in just 12 games for the Red Sox last year and hasn’t thrown since then, so it’ll be a long road back. And the ordeal–from which he’s considering legal action–caused him to lose about 40 pounds.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    He might not know whose fault it was, but his lawyer or agent better be getting to the bottom of this.

    • patsandsox - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM

      that has malpractice written all over it. I thought mass general was supposed to be famous?

  2. skeleteeth - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Forget Chris Carpenter, Sox should have been able to void this contract.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      That makes no sense.

      • skeleteeth - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        Oh dear…

      • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:53 AM

        Nice response….an original comment that makes no fucking sense followed up by a retort that makes no fucking sense. If it was an attempt at humor, it is ridiculously unfunny. On a logical sense, how would voiding this contract be compensation from the Cubs for Epstein?

    • skeleteeth - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      Your hostility is as confusing to me as my comment to you…unless….Bobby?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        Because your comment of “Oh dear” is meant to be construed as if I have no idea what I am talking about…where, in fact, your comment was the ridiculous one. Hence, a bit of hostility.

      • carlosruiz51 - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:42 PM

        I think he was leaking Popeyes Chicken Grease….

      • deathmonkey41 - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        This kind of anger in threads makes the baby Jesus cry.

      • skeleteeth - Feb 23, 2012 at 1:44 PM

        Do you really think I made that statement because Bobby Jenks was leaking cheeseburgers all over the operating table?

  3. phukyouk - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK! this just SOUNDS awful i cannot imagine the pain he was in. hoping this guy fully recovers and that the Dr’s. that did this are punished.

  4. shaggylocks - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    “And the ordeal–from which he’s considering legal action–caused him to lose about 40 pounds.”

    Uh… always… look… on the bright side? Silver lining? Ugh, no, fuck no, this is just awful. I hope he can recover and return to form, because that would be a shitty way to end a career.

  5. drewsylvania - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    In all seriousness, this is the kind of story this site should have. (not “Theo Epstein ate strawberry shortcake on Wednesdays in the offseason)

    • phillyphreak - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      He always struck me as a carrot cake kinda guy.

      • phukyouk - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:13 PM

        really? you know that you just started a new Pie v. Cake thing, right?

      • phillyphreak - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:15 PM

        I in no way denigrated pie or cake. I leave it up to the individual to make the decision alone.

      • drewsylvania - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        Is cheesecake cake or pie? Discuss.

      • paperlions - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        To be cake, the item must include flour. Cheese cake has no flour in it and can’t be a cake.

        It seems like it could be a type of pie; I just know it is definitely not cake.

      • cur68 - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:54 PM

        Wrong ‘Lions. Its cake. Why? Well, for cheesecake’s intrinsic goodness and ability to be smeared on Jessica Alba (should the need arise…and I pray to GOD that it does). Can’t smear pie. Pie is associated with moms, not babes. Cake is associated with babes.

      • phillyphreak - Feb 23, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        But cur, Jessica Alba is a mom too…

      • cur68 - Feb 23, 2012 at 1:32 PM

        I know. She makes it in a MILF and a babe. The girls got talent.

      • thetruth1313 - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:19 PM

        Then care to elaborate on a little ditty by Warrant entitled “She’s my Cherry Pie?”

  6. drewsylvania - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Good god. Some malpractice insurer is going to be real unhappy real soon.

  7. cur68 - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Any diagnosis that has the words “leaking spinal fluid” in it is going to be bad (like, duh). Just reading that account of his troubles leaves me in no doubt that, as crappy as today is going for me, Bobby Jenks has had it worse. Good luck with your recovery Mr. Jenks, and good health from here out.

    • Jonny 5 - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      Usually, leaking spinal fluid is accompanied with extreme headaches. Like so extreme it could make any grown man scream kind of headache. Then add the 2 operations and the vertebrae cutting into his back muscles. Yikes, he was pretty much tortured by “doctors”.

      • cur68 - Feb 23, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        Please, I wish everybody would stop describing it: I’m getting a sympathy headache.

  8. aceshigh11 - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Okay, now I feel bad about busting on him last year.

    I don’t care how much money you make, that’s just scary. Hope he recovers.

  9. jimbo1949 - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    I would think that someone would have vetted the surgeon prior to having an operation. After all 49% of all surgeons graduated in the bottom half of their class. If the facts are as stated in the article, I would imagine this guy was in last place.

    • drewsylvania - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      Even the best make mistakes.

  10. deathmonkey41 - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Okay, even though he’s pretty much a D-bag and plays on the Red Sox, I actually feel for Jenks, because a year and a half ago, I had back surgery to repair an extruded disc in my lower back and then was rushed back into emergency surgery two weeks later because- wait for it- I was leaking spinal fluid. By far the worst month of my life and I still haven’t fully recovered from it. I thought I was dying. All I could do was lay completely flat in the dark. If you stand up, it feels like someone is pushing their fist into the base of your skull and out through your eyes and you want to vomit. Apparently it’s not completely uncommon for this to happen during this type of surgery, but usually it happens during the surgery and mine occured two weeks later. I still think they put in one of the staples wrong and that pierced the membrane on my spinal cord. Depending on the shape he’s in, it might be a long time before he’s recovered.

  11. kiwicricket - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Probably not the only ballplayer ‘leaking fluid’ from an ‘error done inside’…
    But I wish Bobby a swift recovery. Would be a shame if his career ended this way.

  12. captaincanoe - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    It’s 2:30pm and I’ve been on the couch watching Battlestar Galactica since 7 am. Now I’ve got to hunt down a twinkle or Ho-Ho or something. Thanks a lot guys.

  13. nelsonsaint - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Never have major surgery performed by a graduate of the Hollywood Upstairs Medical College.

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