According to Carwin's manager Jason Genet, the 35-year-old has been suffering through the injuries for years, working through them with physical therapy and pain medication. But the injury has gotten progressively worse until a few days ago, one of Carwin's arms went numb down to the elbow, necessitating a visit to the doctor.
After examination, Carwin (12-1) was told that even without surgery, he would be out a minimum of 8-12 weeks but was advised that an operation would be the recommended long-term remedy. Genet would not disclose the exact procedure Carwin would undergo, only saying it would address both back and neck injuries.
"We're trying to avoid spending 12 weeks with rehabilitation, traction, pain pills and epidurals, only to end up getting surgery anyway," Genet said.
His surgery is set for Nov. 2, but a return timetable is yet unknown for the star.
Back and neck injuries are notoriously difficult to rehabilitate, but Genet insists that Carwin will rebound to be a factor in the UFC's heavyweight division.
"When Shane was an NFL prospect, he had a back injury where people said not only would he not be able to play in the NFL, he wouldn't be able to play pro sports," he said. "He's already made it to fight for the heavyweight title. He limped to the mountaintop without all the tools. What happens when he ascends to the mountaintop with everything he's got?"
Carwin was most recently in action at UFC 116, where he nearly took the title from Brock Lesnar with a vicious first-round beating before he succumbed to a second-round arm triangle submission. A power puncher with a wrestling background, Carwin had finished all 12 of his opponents prior to losing to Lesnar, and captured the UFC interim heavyweight championship with a knockout over Frank Mir at UFC 111.