As a former NFL player and an orthopedic surgeon, Mark Adickes is acutely aware of the painful rehabilitation that lies ahead for Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III after his successful knee surgery last week.
In a Fox Sports column the other day, Adickes offered insight as the surgeon who performed RGIII’s 2009 anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and someone who has consulted with the Griffin family although he was not involved in last week’s surgery. When he speaks of the pain a knee injury, he does so first-hand — he twice had surgery as an athlete at Baylor and in the USFL. Adickes, a lineman, went on to a successful NFL career and won a Super Bowl with the Redskins. As he has said in interviews, he writes that he isn’t concerned about RGIII’s ability to play again the way he did before. “He handled his first setback by leading Baylor to its first 10-win season in decades and winning the Heisman Trophy,” he writes. “I believe this second hurdle will inspire an equally impressive conclusion to a long and stellar NFL career.”
As for the surgery last week and what lies ahead, Adickes writes:
The surgery that Dr. James Andrews performed was a repair of his LCL, a revision reconstruction of his ACL and a repair of his medial meniscus. All three surgeries are significant when done alone. When done together, they comprise a major surgery that leads to an extremely painful and arduous recovery.
Because Robert’s patellar tendon in his right knee was used to perform his initial ACL reconstruction the patellar tendon in his uninjured left knee had to be used to create a new ACL. This means the pain he will have to withstand will be doubled and nearly equal for both knees. Although fully informed prior to surgery, he was hopeful that a lesser procedure would be sufficient to allow him to recover.
His parents told me that upon awakening, feeling the searing pain in both knees, he was immediately alerted to the extent of his injury and the magnitude of his surgery. The disappointment had to be immense.
Adickes goes on to say that there’s no question in his mind that RGIII will be good as new next season. As for RGIII himself, he was back on Twitter on Saturday after a three-day absence:
What’s good people? All is well. Thank you for your prayers, good vibes, & well wishes
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) January 12, 2013
Thomas Boswell: Don’t worry about RGIII. The good QBs always come back.
Graphic: An inside look at the surgery