Sports doctor analyzes Adam Page’s injury from AEW Dynamite

As previously noted, the Jon Moxley vs. Adam Page world title match from the October 18th 2022 edition of AEW Dynamite was stopped early due to Page suffering a concussion. In a video published to his YouTube channel, sports doctor Brian Sutterer analyzed the injury…

“As Page’s coming in here, you can see the contact that occurs to really more the left side of his neck and sort of upper jaw, and even if this doesn’t result in a direct impact to the head that causes the concussion, that amount of whiplash that you sustain is enough for the brain to move back and forth in the skull and give you what we call this counter-coup type of injury, that can certainly cause a concussion without that direct head trauma. Now, there is enough there, I think, on the jaw of Page to warrant enough energy for a brain injury. Then, also as he comes to the mat [which] is probably the most concerning part of this, Because we’ve seen athletes in other sports — there was a bare-knuckle boxer who actually died recently, after suffering a spinal cord injury during the fall. So, as he comes down, you can see how he lands on his head, unfortunately, it bends a little bit off to the side here. We’ve got one other view here that showed how Paige landed with his head on the mat. You can see how it’s not necessarily a direct axial load, meaning directly into the top of his head, but his head is sort of bent off to his left side.”

“If we correlate that with our biodigital anatomy tool on the side of our cervical vertebrae, we have these little joints called facet joints, they sort of sit right around in this area, and part of wherever you bend your neck to the side, it’s going to be stopped or restrained by these little facet joints. So whenever you bend your neck that severely in that forced lateral flexion, you cannot only injure but potentially dislocate these facet joints. But if you also notice there’s a little nerve here that comes out of the hole just in front of those little facet joints. So whenever you bend your neck severely to the side, not only do you run the risk of fracture to these vertebrae, dislocations of the cervical vertebrae, and spinal cord injury, but also just compression of these nerve roots as they leave the neck. So not only are we worried about a spine injury here, but we also have to be worried as sort of the follow-up if there’s no spine injury, about injury to those peripheral nerve roots as they’ve exited Page’s neck with fractures of the cervical spine, there usually is more of a component of this direct axial load, meaning a force that comes in directly towards the top of the head, and kind of compresses the spine together.”

“That’s like what we saw happen with Big E when he broke his neck. We don’t see that as much here with Page and I think that’s probably part of what resulted in this just being a concussion and not something more severe like a spinal cord injury, you can have both a concussion and a spinal cord injury. But one of the things right away that made me think ‘concussion’ is you can see how Paige’s body is a little bit stiff, there’s a little bit of increased tone, signified here by his trunk actually being up off the ground, we can see his legs are actually also in a little bit of a rigid position here, which is something that more commonly happens when there’s been a concussion. Now again, you can have a concussion, and you can have a spine injury. But that initial sort of rigidity that we saw in his body was more suggestive and from the concussion.”

“It’s an important lesson that while a lot of stuff in wrestling is scripted, there’s still very, very real chance for very real injuries. It’s hard when you don’t know as a fan watching, ‘Is this part of the script? ‘Is this a real thing?’ That’s what a lot of the questions were about last night. Clearly, the ref made a great call initially realizing that this was very real, getting the medical personnel out there. Remember that just because the only thing we’ve heard about is a concussion, that doesn’t mean there’s not other injuries, like maybe some nerve irritation, maybe something with some strain or sprain to the neck muscles or neck ligaments. So this doesn’t mean that it’s automatically going to be a quicker return. There could be a lot of other stuff that still has to be worked out and that Page still has to recover from.” (quotes courtesy of