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Knee Surgery in the NFL

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Knee Surgery in the NFL

How NFL athlete’s fully recover from knee surgery…

A torn ACL is an injury that causes excruciation knee pain and can end many athletes’ careers, especially when it comes to the NFL where lateral movement and brute strength are such important qualities. But with precision surgery some athlete’s have shown that’s possible come back to perform better than before.

Redskins quarterback, Robert Griffin III, is an athlete that finds himself ready to fight that battle once again after a recent injury during Sunday’s game against the Seahawks required surgery. On Wednesday 9th January 2013, Griffin underwent the procedure to repair his ACL reconstructed for a second time.

Griffin managed to bounce back from his first torn ACL, which he sustained in the third game of the 2009 season. He missed the rest of the year but won the Heisman Trophy in 2011.

robert griffin 3rd knee surgery

Robert Griffin III Undergoes Second Knee Surgery

Image Credit: Keith Allison, 2012.

RGIII is by no means the only person to recover from such an injury. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson underwent reconstructive knee surgery to replace the ACL and repair the MCL in his left knee.

The surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrew on December 30th 2011. The same surgeon who also performed RGIII’s second surgery.

Despite the severity of his injury, Peterson was able to return to the game to almost break the NFL single season rushing record – an incredible record that has remained unbroken since it was set by Los Angeles Rams running back Eric Dickerson in 1984.

Dr. Andrews and Dr. Mark Adickes, the orthopedist who reconstructed Griffin’s ACL in 2009, said that pinpointing a date for RGIII’s return was not an exact science. Aside from the fact that Griffin has already had to recover from such an injury once already, no two athletes are the same, which makes it impossible to tell. However both doctors agreed that he should be ready for the start of the season in September.

Typically it can take a whole year for ligaments to fully heal, that’s why Peterson’s recovery was so remarkable. He tore his ACL in 2011, and was the leagues best in 2012.

Peterson’s focus and intensity in rehab and his natural athletic gifts are what made his quick recovery possible. While it’s clear that RGIII has the same qualities, we’ll just have to wait and see if he can return and keep improving.


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