The UFC recently held a conference call with Dr. Steven Sanders, the UFC’s orthopedic surgeon who performed the surgery on former middleweight champion Anderson Silva (33-6), following his horrendous leg break suffered in the UFC 168 bout with Chris Weidman.
While many people have wondered whether or not Silva will be capable of returning to the octagon, or if he’d even wish to, Dr. Sanders revealed that prior to surgery being performed, Silva was already asking him when he would be able to return to training, which suggests that “The Spider” is certainly keen on a return to competition. Sanders also added that Anderson has reiterated his desire to return, constantly asking when he will be able to begin training.
“In the pre-op area, his question was, ‘When can I train?’” “And he asks every time I see him on my rounds, ‘When can I train?'”
Despite the severity of the injury, with Silva breaking his left tibia and fibula following a checked leg kick, Dr. Sanders has predicted that the injury could heal in three to six months with Anderson capable of returning to training in six to nine months.
“If I had to make a guess less than 48 hours from the operation, it would be the fracture healing in three to six months, and attempting to train, six to nine months.”
Dr. Sanders also revealed that after studying x-rays there were no predisposed issues that would have lead to Anderson’s bone to break the way it did, ending any speculation that the injury may have been brought on from an underlying condition suffered in a previous bout or training camp.
Sanders added that age is not an issue in the healing process of this type of injury, so despite Silva being thirty-eight years of age, he see’s no reason why “The Spider” could not fight again in the future. While the healing of the bone is relatively easy for him to put a time-scale on, the variance in the three to six months healing process is due to the soft tissue regeneration which can often be variable in this type of injury.
The surgery, which took around an hour to complete, involved inserting a titanium rod into his tibia from the top down to his ankle, followed by a posterior plaster split. Silva is already attempting to move around with the use of crutches and Dr. Sanders has suggested that he may be able to put weight on the leg in a few weeks, depending on his comfort level.
Silva will soon begin a long road to recovery where Dr. Sanders stated that the rehabilitation process will begin with weight bearing and the basic recovery of the use and rotation of his ankle.