- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III on Wednesday morning had surgery to reconstruct the ACL and repair the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee, a procedure that could jeopardize his availability for the start of the 2013 season.

Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery, expects Griffin to be ready to play next season.

Robert Griffin III had successful knee surgery early this morning,” Andrews said in a statement released by the team Wednesday afternoon. “He had a direct repair of his LCL and a re-do of his previous ACL reconstruction. We expect a full recovery and it is everybody’s hope and belief that due to Robert’s high motivation, he will be ready for the 2013 season.”

Two orthopedic surgeons not involved in Griffin’s procedure said it commonly takes six to nine months to recover from surgery to reconstruct an ACL and repair an LCL. The season begins in September.

“Nothing is ever written in concrete,” said Marc Siegel, the orthopedic surgeon for Virginia Tech’s athletic teams. “It’s a matter of when the kid is ready to play … when he’s ready as far as his rehab goes.”

The six-to-nine-month timetable would mean Griffin is likely to miss the Redskins‘ offseason practices and training.

“Thank you for your prayers and support,” Griffin tweeted at 7:21 a.m. Wednesday. “I love God, my family, my team, the fans, & I love this game. See you guys next season.”

A Redskins spokesman declined further comment.  

Griffin flew to Pensacola, Fla., Tuesday along with some team officials and family members to visit renowned orthopedist James Andrews at his institute there. Because Griffin tore the ACL in 2009, and because he played the final three games of this season through a mildly sprained LCL ligament, Andrews sought to evaluate him more extensively to clarify the results of the MRI exam he had after Sunday’s game.

Griffin’s ACL was reconstructed in 2009 using a patellar tendon graft.

“That’s, in my mind, the gold standard,” said Daniel Carr, a Williamsburg, Va.-based orthopedic surgeon who served as the United States Olympic Team’s head physician at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Carr has not examined Griffin.

When a reconstructed ACL is torn and must be reconstructed again, orthopedists call it a revision. A patellar tendon graft from Griffin’s right knee almost certainly would have been unavailable for the revision procedure, Carr said.

ESPN cited an anonymous team source Wednesday morning in reporting that Andrews would revise Griffin’s first ACL reconstruction by using a patellar tendon graft from his left knee.

A knee in which the ACL reconstruction has been revised can suffer long-term effects, such as looseness in the joint.

“Your best chance of the best results, if you have to have an ACL, is always [with] the first one, not necessarily the second one,” Carr said.

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