Majkowski taps his cell phone open to reveal a catalog of grisly MRI photos straight out of a slasher film. He pulls you into his pit of endless surgeries and eternal pain and, by God, it’s a miracle the man sitting here is still in one piece.
Start with the ankle, his most famous body part. The image of No. 7 in green writhing in pain at Lambeau Field on Sept. 20, 1992 replays ad nauseum because, of course, that shattered left ankle is what launched the career of, one, Brett Favre. And as Favre proceeded to start an NFL-record 321 straight games, life was quite different for Majkowski. That ankle has since undergone nine surgeries and a fusion. Right there on his phone, you can see the 13 screws and two titanium plates jammed it in place.
His lower back is also fused. This required an artificial disc.
Lifting his shirt to display a deep scar, Majkowski explains that he was “gutted” like a fish. The surgeon needed to knife through his chest to get to his back via an operation so difficult that a vascular surgeon was needed to assist the orthropedic surgeon. His organs were, literally, removed so they could get to this spine.
“All my guts were out,” he says.
That’s not even the worst of it, either.
Just this past year, Majkowski had two neck surgeries six months apart.
First, a doctor cut into his neck from the back. He had the same surgery as Peyton Manning, complete with a “big ‘ol zipper” along his neck. When this didn’t work, a doctor cut his neck open from the front, which explains that visible scar near the jugular. From the front, a doctor inserted two massive plates and eight screws into the back. Majkowski shakes his head. Yes, it also blows his mind that a doctor can stuff so much into his neck from that angle.
The top of his spine is fused from the C4 vertebrae to the C7.
“A little horizontal slash,” he explains, “and then they open it up. They go all the way to your vertebrae.”