The Washington Post

James Andrews: 55 percent of RBs still playing in NFL after ACL surgery

Dr. James Andrews, through his publicist, declined to discuss Robert Griffin III’s knee surgery on Wednesday because the Redskins instructed him not to. But this morning, he did give an interview to SiriusXM Radio that included a brief update on how Griffin is doing today.

Dan Steinberg has the full interview over on the D.C. Sports Bog, but here are the tidbits Andrews offered on Griffin, and recoveries from ACL surgeries:

Asked about Griffin’s surgery, Andrews said, “Well, I really can’t talk specifically about an injury from just the privacy act of that young man’s career. But obviously I had to operate on his knee [Wednesday]. And it’s a shame, but he had a re-injury to his ACL. He’s already waiting on me this morning to start his rehab and start his recovery. A fine young man and a great talent. We’re looking forward to trying to get him back, ready for next season. That’s about the gist of it.”

Late in the interview, Andrews was asked about the chances of an athlete like Griffin returning to elite athletic status. Andrews didn’t respond specifically, but did offer this:

“Well, we talk about ACL reconstructive procedures — [it’s] one of our best operations we do in sports, as far as the overall results,” Andrews said. “Ninety-five percent, is just a figure that comes out of the head right now, success rate. That’s across the board.

“Now, if you take an NFL running back that’s got to depend on his knee function probably at the highest level, there’s about 55 percent of them that are still playing football after what we would call a successful ACL surgery, about 55 percent still playing actively in the NFL after two years,” he later said. “So is that a failure of the ACL surgery? No, that’s a failure of that running back losing a step and losing the ability to cut on a dime and is not able to play. So it’s not as rosy as what it might look, as you go up the ladder to try to play football professionally after an ACL operation.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.



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Mike Jones · January 10, 2013