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As most fans of the National Football League (NFL) know, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III recently injured his knee in a playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. And on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, RGIII underwent surgery to repair the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee and to explore the damage to his anterior cruciate ligament.

So what is RGIII’s Timeline to return to the NFL?

“Recovery from combined ACL and LCL tears is a grueling and time-consuming process, and when you’re dealing with a patient like Griffin with a prior history of an ACL reconstruction on the same knee, even more so,” said Dr. Ali Mohamadi. “The progression to physical activity is very slow to ensure that the grafts are sufficiently strong to endure motion and weight bearing.”
Typically, it takes 9-12 months to fully recover from an ACL, LCL injury. This would put much of RGIII’s 2013 NFL season in jeopardy.

What is Rehabilitation like for an ACL, LCL Tear?

Typically, physical therapy and rehabilitation following surgery for an ACL, LCL tear is 6-12 weeks followed by a home exercise program.
“For most athletes, notwithstanding Adrian Peterson’s amazing full recovery from ACL and MCL tears in about 9 months, many experts will tell you that it can take a full year for an athlete to feel like he or she is back to 100 percent function,” said Dr. Mohamadi.

What is the Risk of Re-Injury once RGIII returns to the NFL?

Studies show that while the risk of re-injury is about 5% among patients who have had ACL reconstruction, the risk for failure doubles after a second ACL repair, and this study didn’t just look at athletes who endure the wear and tear that football players do,” said Dr. Mohamadi. “It doesn’t mean Griffin shouldn’t be able to play and play well after a second ACL reconstruction, but it does add a level of concern over the possibility that it could happen yet again.”

If you have any questions about Post-Surgery Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy, please contact Chesapeake Bay Aquatic & Physical Therapy by visiting today! And if you are a new patient, please review our New Patient Forms page before your first visit.

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