“I would not have anyone with that injury – regardless of the patient – no one would be involved in a striking type, or high-contact sport to that area, easily could be anywhere from six to 12 months,” said Dr. Steven Sanders, the orthopedic surgeon who operated on Anderson Silva’s leg following a horrific break during his title fight against UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Though Anderson Silva posted a picture earlier of himself already beginning rehabilitation on his leg, it is safe to say that the former UFC middleweight champion has a long road ahead of him if he wants to return to fighting.
The injury, a gruesome break he suffered during his UFC 168 title fight against Chris Weidman, required immediate surgery after the fight. Dr. Steven Sanders performed the surgery, and he most recently spoke on SiriusXM Tapout Radio to discuss the injury and Silva’s road to recovery.
“From a pure physical perspective of the bone, optimistically, yes we would like to see his bones heal over a three to nine month period of time,” Dr. Sanders explained. “Then, you of course have the soft tissues around the bone, and that is obviously going to remain a sensitive area. So I guess there are gradations of what his activity will be and he will be dictating a lot of that to us as the next following months unfold. I would not have anyone with that injury – regardless of the patient – no one would be involved in a striking type, or high contact sport, to that area, easily [for] anywhere from six to 12 months.”
Part of Dr. Sanders’ surgery on Silva’s leg involved the insertion of a titanium rod into Sivla’s tibia. The doctor would go on to explain on the radio show his choice to operate on both bones in the leg to avoid jeopardizing the early stages of healing.
While Dr. Sanders would not speculate on Silva’s ability to return to the form that until recently had him atop the list of fighters, pound-for-pound, he did explain that age “is not a factor in terms of delaying or working against his healing.”
With up to one year before Silva can begin kicking, it seems that a possible return to professional competition may wait until after the former UFC middleweight champion turns 40.