Todd Duffee faces a serious fight outside the cage. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The pain woke Todd Duffee in the middle of the night.
“It felt like somebody stabbing me in my back,” he told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I kind of freaked out. Should I go to the ER? What do I do? It was that kind of pain. I just couldn’t move. I could kind of lift my shoulder to a certain extent, but I couldn’t use my hand fully. I could like pulse it, but I couldn’t close it. I couldn’t pick up anything with it or anything like that.”
The Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight sat on the edge of his bed trying to figure out what was happening to him. One guess was that he had pinched a nerve. Besides the knife in his back, pain was shooting up and down his arm and he felt numbness, too.
“It was scary,” Duffee said. “I’m not even going to lie to you. I was like, ‘What is going [on]?’”
Over the next few days, he saw several doctors and underwent various tests. Eventually, a neurologist diagnosed him with Parsonage-Turner syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by shoulder pain, neurological deficits, motor weakness and numbness.
“It’s one of those moments where your whole perspective on life changes and you have to start kind of looking at things differently,” Duffee said.
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