NFL Great Joe Montana Details Post-Career Physical Problems

By Staff  |  02/06/2016

Joe Montana

Legendary NFL quarterback Joe Montana retired more than 20 years ago, but says the wear and tear on his body during his career has taken a toll on him.

Now 59, Montana details his ailments in an interview with USA Today, which he says keeps him from doing physical activities he loves with his family.

Arthritis. He says, his hands hurt. "In the middle of the night they hurt like crazy." He also has arthritis in one elbow and both his knees.

A balky knee. Montana can't straighten his knee despite, having a half-dozen surgeries on it. He said he can't run much anymore and has been told he'll "need a knee replacement when I can't walk."

A bad neck. Montana says he's already had three neck fusions and a fourth may be on the way. "The path of a nerve they think is being affected," he said.

A troublesome eye: Nerve damage has left Montana with what he labeled a "lazy eye to some degree because every time you're tired, it kind of goes wherever it feels like a little bit."

Montana says his family does a variety of physical activities together, from snowboarding to basketball... but he's forced to sit out. "My whole family likes to live on the edge, so some of the things I regret that I can't do with them," he tells USA Today. "Like snowboarding. I fell like 50 times within 30 yards off the top of the ski lift. ... I love basketball. I can't play basketball. I can shoot, but that's about it. I can't run up and down the court. My knee just gives out.

"I tried a little bit of skiing, but unfortunately when you get weight on one ski under my left knee, it's just not very strong. After my first back surgery, what kind of compounds things, is my sciatic nerve has been damaged. So the muscles along my sciatic nerve into my left foot have been numb since '86."