- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
- FBI failed to throughly vet Boston bombing suspect after Russian lead, report finds
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He’s a ‘scumbag’
- University: Help, our campus is too white
Former Redskins learn all ACL injuries are different
If timetables were assured, then Tim Hightower would have been a productive NFL running back in 2012. If the six-to-nine month recovery period projected for his left knee ACL reconstruction went as promised, then we wouldn’t necessarily know Alfred Morris to be a burgeoning star in the Washington Redskins‘ backfield. Hightower, though, understands the reality of rehabilitation from major knee surgery.
“In life,” he said, “there is no guarantees.”
He learned that by being forced to observe the 2012 football season. While his former team completed an historic turnaround that culminated with the NFC East division championship, he continued to rehabilitate a knee injury that leaves him unemployed 16 months after he injured it on an otherwise forgettable 4-yard carry.
As doctors expect Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III to rehabilitate his surgically repaired right knee ligaments and meniscus in time for the 2013 season, Hightower is proof that timetables are nothing more than frameworks established by precedents.
“One thing I did learn and I’m learning: every ACL, every knee surgery is not the same,” Hightower said. “Different guys’ bodies respond different ways to different things.”
Peterson tore the ACL and medial collateral ligament and damaged the medial and lateral meniscus in his left knee against the Redskins on Christmas Eve 2011, about six yards from where Griffin’s knee finally gave out at FedEx Field two Sundays ago.
Dr. James Andrews, the same surgeon who operated on Griffin last week, performed Peterson’s and Hightower’s knee surgeries. Peterson returned to play in all 16 games this season and came within nine yards of breaking Eric Dickerson’s all-time single-season rushing record of 2,015 yards.
However, experts caution that Peterson is more of an exception than an example athletes and fans should expect athletes to replicate.
“The Adrian Petersons of the world are unusual, who perform at that high of a level starting at eight months after surgery,” said Rick Wright, professor in the department of orthopedic surgery at Washington University’s School of Medicine and the head team physician for the NHL’s St. Louis Blues. He is the principal investigator of a leading ACL revision study that’s funded by the National Institutes of Health.
“The athletes will tell you that they really kind of feel back to normal and stop thinking about their knee so much at about 12 months,” said Wright, who has not examined Griffin.
Wright noted that even Peterson performed at a higher level as the season progressed and time distanced him from his surgery date.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- REDSKINS 2013: Breaking down the schedule, game by game
- NFL 2013: Ranking all 32 teams in terms of staying power
- REDSKINS 2013: Washington seeks staying power among NFL's elite
- With no blueprint, Redskin Hankerson seeks success as dad
- Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson learning to manage family life with football career
Latest Blog Entries
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Kirsten Dunst: Actress sparks feminist ire: 'You need a man to be a man'
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- PHILLIPS: What did Harry Reid know and when did he know it?
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes