It appears that even his surgeon was in awe…. After 5 years of NFL football, 3 years at O.U., and several more going back to his youth, the mileage in Adrian Petersen’s knee should have been evident. Even after a few years of sport and for many of us at his age even without football, putting an arthroscope in a knee typically reveals at least a few scuff marks, if you will, on the joint cartilage. You can think of these as wrinkles or sun spots on the skin, just a sign that there has been some wear and tear. According to Petersen’s orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, however, AP’s knee cartilage looked like the knee of a newborn- smooth and healthy as could be (http://t.co/z8SFr0we). This is highly unusual and rarely encountered by those of us who see inside knees with a camera, and totally unheard of for someone who has endured the grind of a professional running back.
Undoubtedly he underwent a well-executed surgery by a team of physicians and nurses accustomed to the procedure. And of course, he freakishly adhered to a rigorous rehabilitation routine, devoting hours and multiple daily sessions to get his leg and body ready to return. While for most NFL athletes, this regimen can be expected, previous research has shown that still only 63% of NFL football players played another regular season snap in the NFL after ACL reconstruction, even with the esteemed Dr. Andrews performing the reconstruction (Return to Play After ACL Reconstruction in NFL Athletes). For those that do return, especially at skill positions, it has also been shown that it would be expected for productivity to drop off, if not permanently then at least for the first returning season (Productivity after ACL Reconstruction in NFL Skill Positions). So something still has to give. It just goes to show that he is just built differently than the rest of us. But I guess we already sort of new that, right?