How did Lex Luger get paralyzed?

Lex Luger
Lex Luger

At one point, Lex Luger was bookmarked to become the next Hulk Hogan by Vince McMahon. Adverse crowd reactions saw that push slowly fade away, but the superstar ultimately went through immense struggles following his in-ring career.

Lex Luger is a wrestling legend who helped pave the way for several current superstars. The wrestler spent 30 years in football and wrestling. Unfortunately, those thirty years took a huge toll on his health.

In 2007, Luger was already semi-retired from wrestling. He then suffered from temporary paralysis, which brought a complete halt to his wrestling days.

What happened when Lex Luger suffered from paralysis?

Lex Luger was on a flight to San Fransisco when he found himself facing difficulties in moving his neck. When he tried to adjust his neck, things became worse for him.

Luger suffered a nerve impingement in his neck that led to him temporarily suffering from paralysis.

A nerve impingement is a condition where a nerve is pinched. It can occur in multiple ways, but one of the common reasons is when too much pressure is applied to the nerve by the surrounding tissue.

Pinched nerves can lead to various issues, and for Lex Luger, it led to a spinal infarction, which led to temporary paralysis. In an interview with, he later opened up about his issues:

“I injured my neck on an airplane from Atlanta to San Francisco. The way I had turned my neck while sitting on the plane had basically cut off my blood flow. It was just a freak accident, but it caused massive swelling from my C6 [vertebra], at the base of your neck, to my D5 in my chest. It paralyzed me from the neck down.” revealed Luger
“They told me that I was a healthy 49-year-old, though I’d be paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of my life and need 24-hour medical care. But my recovery has been just phenomenal. Now I live on my own, I’m walking and I’m thankful for that. Nobody knows if I’ll make a 100-percent recovery, but I’ve gotten so much back already … more than anybody would ever have thought.” admitted Luger

However, it was not thought to be too serious. He went through intravenous antibiotic treatment. The superstar was expected to make a full recovery. Unfortunately, there were a few obstacles waiting for him.

Even a month after his spinal injury, he was still in a quadriplegic state. He had no movement in any of his limbs. It took a long time for Lex Luger to recover and it was through sheer internal fortitude that he was able to overcome the struggles that came his way. In June 2008, he was able to walk short distances with a walker. In 2010, he was able to drive and walk long distances.

Even if Lex Luger could walk, in 2014, he had to use wheelchairs on a regular basis. Unfortunately for the superstar, he's now completely reliant on a wheelchair to move around.

Lex Luger is now 63 years old and he is hardly recognizable as the same wrestler due to the spinal infarction. Throughout that time, he has remained grateful to his fans and regularly attends fan events to see those that come to see the wrestling legend.

“I want to thank the fans so much for their support through the years. Even as undeserving as I was, they were a big part of my being able to move forward and put my life back together. They’re the greatest. They’re the ones who make the stars. For their support throughout my career and today, I love them and thank them.” said Luger

Lex Luger now lives a simple life in Buffalo, New York. The legend spends most of his free time doing what he can to help out at the local schools and churches in the area. Despite all the obstacles put forth his way, he has turned his life around and devoted it to helping people.

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Edited by Arjun