Shane Carwin underwent back surgery yesterday to correct nerve damage found in his C5, C6 and C7 vertebrae. According the Carwin’s manager Jason Genet, the surgery was “successful.”

According to Genet, Carwin underwent a foraminotomy. The procedure is used to relieve pressure on compressed and pinched nerves. Although considered minimally invasive, the surgery requires incisions in the back of the neck and in the affected vertebrae.

According to Genet, specialist Dr. Chad Prusmack used the procedure to target Carwin’s C5, C6 and C7 vertebrae and was surprised by what he found during the repair.

“Surgery went well,” Genet stated. “It took just under four hours to complete. The nerve damage was worse than the MRI showed, but they cleaned it up.”

Carwin isn’t sure when he’ll return to action, but he wants everyone to know he’s “alive” and thankful for their support. A “Get Well Shane” contest has been setup on his official website if you’re interested.

Update: Shane Carwin will be out of commission for 8-12 weeks before he can resume physical contact.

In one to two weeks, Carwin will be able to begin light cardiovascular or mobility workouts, but can’t do any impact training or weight lifting for the foreseeable future.

Given the 8-12 week no-contact timeframe and a traditional 6-8 week training camp, it seems likely that Carwin won’t be back fighting in a UFC Octagon anytime before spring 2011. But the best news Carwin received is that his fight career should resume with no restrictions once he is fully rehabilitated.