Re: Draft Grade - Round 3/1 Brennan Williams
There is no good NFL study that correlates players having microfracture surgery specifically with post surgical performance. But there is one such study of professional basketball players. In a 2009 American Journal of Sports Medicine study, 24 National Basketball Association (NBA) players who had microfracture knee surgery between 1997 and 2006 were evaluated. Data for their first full season before and after the surgery were used in the evaluation. The study found that 8 (33%) of the athletes never returned to play in the NBA. Fourteen players (58.3%) returned to the NBA for longer than one season. Thirteen players (76%) missed at least 1 game during their first full season back from surgery due to injuries to their operative knee. Comparisons within the groups suggested that points scored and minutes played were statistically significantly decreased. Performance variables (points, rebounds, assists, blocks, assists, and field goal percentage) declined between before and after the surgery. When the experimental group was compared to the controls, those players with microfracture knee surgery had a larger average decline in performance. Regression analysis showed that the experimental cases were 8.15 times less likely to remain in the NBA than the controls. The conclusions of the study were that players with a history of microfracture knee surgery are at risk of never returning to the NBA. These results may reflect the players abilities (8 previous all stars), position, age (mean age was 28.6 years old), and the severity of chondral lesions more than they do the success of microfracture. Also the study lacks information about the actual procedures. Lesion size and location do affect the outcome of the procedure. The study also found that the players that do return experience a decrease in minutes played directly due to the surgery. The players averaged less points, assists, and rebounds per game. They averaged 3.9 less points per game and 4.0% lower in field goal percentage. NBA players who have undergone microfracture knee surgery, when compared with a control group, have a greater decline in performance than the typical non-injured players.
Looking at typical patients in general, most clinical studies of the outcomes after microfracture in the knee show some improvement in knee function in 70% to 80% of patients. The long-term results vary. Almost all studies report significant improvement in the first year after surgery; many report a decline in activity levels after 1 year, but especially in elite athletes. Isolated studies have shown an occasional continuation of good results for several years.
Recent studies have shown that a body mass index greater than 30 kg/m(2). Williams at 6'6" and 317 pounds has a BMI of 36.6, results in markedly poorer prognosis. Besides, keep in mind that the constant grinding (against immense resistance) trauma at the knee joint of a football lineman cannot be equaled by any position of a basketball player by direct jumping impact or other sport-specific maneuvers.
In the end, it is quite probable that the poor prognosis of microfracture surgery in an NFL player is more of an indication of the injury rather than the surgery.
Last edited by CloakNNNdagger; 03-25-2014 at 09:42 AM.
Reason: left out descriptive prognostic phrase after BMI listing