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Bono Avoids Paralysis; Tour Cancelled

U2 frontman's emergency surgery fixes partial paralysis in leg; singer must rest for months

U2 frontman Bono underwent emergency back surgery Friday in Munich, and today the surgeon and others are saying that without the operation, the singer could have faced permanent paralysis.

The surgeon said Bono had "partial paralysis" in one leg, according to Irish Central. Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt said "Bono suffered severe compression of the sciatic nerve. On review of his MRI scan, I realized there was a serious tear in the ligament and a herniated disc, and that conservative treatment would not suffice. I recommended Bono have emergency spine surgery with Professor Tonn at Munich's LMU University Hospital on Friday. . . . The ligament surrounding the disc had an eight millimeter tear and during surgery we discovered fragments of the disc had traveled into the spinal canal.

"This surgery was the only course of treatment for full recovery and to avoid further paralysis. Bono is now much better, with complete recovery of his motor deficit. The prognosis is excellent, but to obtain a sustainable result, he must now enter a period of rehabilitation."

Which means two months of rest and postponement of the rest of the band's 360 Tour this year; make-up dates have not yet been scheduled.

The Edge, U2's guitarist, joked that Bono will now get more rest than he's had "in decades," but said that the singer's recurrent back problems had grown quite serious. "He [Bono] was clearly in shock about the implications of the injury," The Edge said. "Maybe he just overdid it and hurt himself. Luckily enough he did realise at a certain point, I think when he could no longer walk, that he needed to go to the doctor. Had he not done anything about it, it could have been serious and possibly permanent."

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