Complicated surgery for Alissa Johnson


Alissa Johnson successfully underwent a complicated surgery last week.

American ski jumper Alissa Johnson underwent a back surgery last week. The 24 year old from Park City had some chronic back pain for the last 2.5 years. These were not a result of ski jumping, but a rare chronic problem that just happens to some people. “It was a difficult injury because very rarely did it bother me while I was actually ski jumping, it just affected other aspects of my life tremendously. It was nearly impossible for me to sit for long periods of time because it caused such bad muscles spasms in my upper back and such bad pain that it was difficult to get comfortable doing anything. So as you can imagine traveling to Europe and traveling in a van to go to each event made it really difficult for me. Also sleeping over the past two years has been very difficult for me. I experience the most pain at night while trying to sleep. Being an athlete it is really important for your training and your mental focus to be well rested and it was something that I haven’t been able to do in a very long time”, she said to

At first two bulged disks were believed to be the cause of her pain. But after seeing several physicians, it turned out that Johnson had a sub-scapular bursitis, which caused a bone impingement, a so called winged-scapula. It caused her scapula to basically scrape along the rib cage. Last week she had a surgery at the renowned Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. In the orthoscopic surgery two bursae from under her shoulder blade and some dead muscle fiber was removed. Also a part of the bone on the scapula was shaved down, so that it can slide over the rib cage better.

She already started a Physical Therapy and as long as there are no complications, she should be able to start spring training as planned. She also plans to start jumping in the second week of June. “I wont be doing many push ups for a while but since I am a ski jumper I am sure I will do just fine without them”, she said. wishes her a well recovery.