GSP vs. ACL: UFC Great Can Make Successful Return to the Cage—If He Wants to

An ACL injury has sidelined Georges St-Pierre again. The former UFC champion damaged his knee in training and will undergo surgery "soon." St-Pierre tweeted out the bad news on Thursday:

It's unclear how the injury happened, but it really doesn't matter. The ACL is one of four main ligaments inside the knee and offers stability between the bones of the leg—the upper (femur) and lower (tibia). It is most stressed by hard stops and by twists.

There are a variety of ways the ACL can be damaged, but it does not necessitate significant contact. In the NFL, nearly half of the ACL injuries last year were considered non-contact. The athlete planted or twisted and the knee gave. Injuries to the ACL tend to be traumatic, meaning they break down due to one isolated incident rather than being weakened by overuse or slow buildup of damage.

While it is unclear exactly when St-Pierre will have the surgery, it is likely he will return to Dr. Neal ElAttrache at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. ElAttrache, one of the top orthopaedists in the world, performed St-Pierre's surgery in 2011.

As in that one, the likely plan will be to take part of his patellar tendon and use it to replace the damaged ACL. This is standard practice for ElAttrache and for most surgeons. ElAttrache has had great luck with this procedure, including with such well-known athletes as Tom Brady and Kobe Bryant.

The normal time frame for return in most sports from this kind of surgery is between six and 12 months. There's certainly no standard for an MMA fighter, but the need for balance, strength and the possibility of taking strong kicks to the knee in fights puts the timeline at around 12 months. (If you're interested in more info about how the timeline goes in detail, see this article. While this refers specifically to Rajon Rondo, the rehab is roughly similar for most athletes up to sports-specific stages.)

That matches up with the time it took St-Pierre to return from his previous ACL reconstruction, though the time between fights was almost six months longer. Timing and scheduling often make it difficult to determine the true rehab timeline. If St-Pierre was ready to fight at 12 months but there was no fight, that's much the same as Adrian Peterson saying he could have played in the NFL just six months after his knee surgery. There are no games in June, so we'll never know.

The fact that this is a second ACL surgery is problematic for St-Pierre, but it's also a bit overblown. It's the opposite knee from his last surgery, which gives him an intact patellar tendon to pull the graft from. It won't be complicated by revising the previous surgery. It does indicate some level of genetic proclivity, what Dr. Michael Axe once termed a "tissue issue." It could be that St-Pierre, for all his strengths, has ligaments that are more likely to tear under certain loads.

It's more appropriate medically to think of this as the first surgery on his left knee rather than a second ACL reconstruction. Nothing will change in how the surgery happens or how the rehab is handled because of the other knee. There is a bit more proclivity for a bilateral tear, though studies are mixed. One of the issues is that many non-professional athletes will quit the sport they were injured in and shift to others. There are obviously big incentives for an athlete like St-Pierre to have a successful rehab in as short a time as possible.

He is obviously in excellent shape, is motivated and will have excellent care throughout the process, so he'll have every advantage. There's a lot of research that shows that having good secondary stabilizers—the muscles around the knee—and good balance helps predict outcome after surgeries. If so, St-Pierre would likely be at the far right of that scale.

One question many have is why he was training at all. He announced after his last UFC fight that he would be taking time off. There were a number of reasons given, but many hope that this is a signal that St-Pierre was aiming for a return to the Octagon.

That may well be true. However, it's not the most likely reason here. With St-Pierre's break from the Octagon has come a shift into movies, so it's likely he is training for his next role. He has a major role in the upcoming Captain America movie as well. 

St-Pierre is also well-known for his work ethic. No matter what he does in the future, it is likely that he will trade on his athleticism and physique. Staying in shape is his business, whether it's fighting, acting or his workout program. 

St-Pierre will be sidelined for at least the next few months while he rehabs. While it may not stop him from doing many things, it's not going to accelerate his return to the UFC. At age 32, he's got time. Fans will have to wait and hope that he doesn't wait too long.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

5 Things the UFC Can Do to Make 2016 the Best Year Ever

  • 29 days ago
  • 37 views

Here are the top 5 ways the UFC can make for a BIG 2016. read news >>

Video: UFC champ Luke Rockhold's elbow drainage will make you gag

  • 28 days ago
  • 31 views

If you’re getting ready to dig into breakfast while you catch up on MMAjunkie’s latest headlines, you might want to skip this one.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC Boston Bit by Injury Bug Again, Charles Rosa Gets Second Opponent in a Week

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

Less than a week ago, Charles Rosa was set to fight Jimy Hettes at UFC Boston on Sunday. Two opponents later, his fingers are crossed that there are no further hiccups. read news >>

A mature Ross Pearson is ready to make a run at the title

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

As a 17-fight veteran of the UFC, Ross Pearson probably could have called up UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and asked to have his bout against Francisco Trinaldo moved from Boston to London next month. But read news >>

Video: Did Conor McGregor deserve shot at 2nd UFC belt? Fellow fighters discuss

  • 27 days ago
  • 434 views

BOSTON – Conor McGregor will soon try to make history by becoming the first fighter in the promotion’s history to simultaneously hold two belts. But did he deserve that opportunity?Filed under: Featu read news >>

Anthony Pettis' goal? Dominate Eddie Alvarez, 'make my case for title shot'

  • 26 days ago
  • 5 views

BOSTON – Anthony Pettis got a taste of life as a UFC champion, and now he wants more.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Dominick Cruz Doesn’t Know What’s Next, Doesn’t Think Injury is Serious

  • 24 days ago
  • 12 views

Having finally regained his bantamweight belt, Dominick Cruz doesn't know what's next and doesn't care. read news >>

Urijah Faber hopes rib injury wouldn't delay Dominick Cruz title fight

  • 23 days ago
  • 14 views

BOSTON – Although the stars seem to be aligning for a potential rubber match between new UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and rival Urijah Faber, one possible hiccup awaits.Filed under: News, read news >>

Teammate: Josh Koscheck will fight again despite Bellator debut injury withdrawal

  • 20 days ago
  • 6 views

Josh Koscheck’s withdrawal from his Bellator debut due to injury could have been a significant setback for the veteran fighter. Fortunately, though, it won’t spell the end of the road for the 38-year read news >>

Assuncao sets his sights after injury layoff

  • 21 days ago
  • 0 views

UFC bantamweight Raphael Assuncao is nearing his return to the Octagon after a lengthy injury layoff, and he's already setting his sights on the division. read news >>