X Japan's Yoshiki to Have Emergency Surgery

X Japan's Yoshiki to Have Emergency Surgery
X Japan founder and bandleader Yoshiki made a name for the group through his intense drumming and over-the-top performances, regularly collapsing onstage. As a result, the musician and main focus of last year's stellar music doc We Are X now requires emergency surgery.

Yesterday (May 9) the band cancelled all forthcoming shows following the news of Yoshiki's impending operation. A statement from the band's management reads that the drummer has sustained injuries that "would force a professional rugby player to retire."

The operation, set to take place May 16 in Los Angeles, will see an artificial cervical disc inserted into the drummer's neck. "This time the surgeon will open my neck from the front and insert an artificial disc between my vertebrae. I'm a little scared but I'll make it through," Yoshiki wrote to fans on his website.

His management added, "Following Yoshiki's operation, a discussion whether to cancel, postpone or move forward as scheduled will be held amongst the agent, promoter and management."

Yoshiki was diagnosed with cervical foraminal stenosis in July 2009, for which he underwent both a cervical laminectomy and a cervical foraminotomy. Management also revealed that a herniated disc had worsened over the past six months, resulting in numbness and severe paralysis of the drummer's left hand and arm.

Despite this, Yoshiki went ahead with a performance at Carnegie Hall in January of this year. 

"Yoshiki stated that he wanted to see things through to the end," Dr. Tommy Tomizawa said in a statement. "However, due to the worsening of his symptoms, doctors, determined that if the situation continued he would have gone beyond the point of surgery and recovery."