CNN Anchor Returns, With ‘a Hardware Store in My Neck’

By Mark Joyella Comment

150106174855-tom-sater-profile-super-169CNN International weather anchor Tom Sater returned to work this week a changed man, but you’d need an x-ray to see just how different he really is.

Sater shared his x-rays with TVNewser, showing the results of extensive surgery that likely saved his career–and his health.

In the images below, you can see the 14 surgical screws and 6.5 inch titanium plate surgeons used to re-build Sater’s neck–replacing five disks that had almost completely degenerated with bone grafts–the screws and plate securing the bone grafts in place.

Tom%20Sater.1

“Doctors thought they needed to put a hardware store in my neck,” Sater joked on Twitter. “Do I look taller?”

Tom%20Sater.2Not taller, perhaps, but Sater is stronger–and safe–after a frightening and risky experience with cervical stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck, which over time can damage the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in paralysis.

Sater noticed pain in his shoulders and arms three years ago, and the problems continued to get worse, with so much numbness in his fingers he found it difficult to button his shirt. Doctors recommended surgery, but that carried a risk–the possibility the veteran broadcast meteorologist might lose his voice.

The surgery was a success, however, and Sater even talked his doctors into letting him return to work a week early. Sater says he’s tired and sore, but thrilled to be back . “Great to be back,” he said. “That was NO fun.”

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