UFC legend Anderson Silva infamously failed to reclaim his Middleweight title from Chris Weidman at UFC 168 on December 28 in Las Vegas when he snapped his shin bone on Weidman's knee in a grisly incident.
"I can share with you from my experience of being an orthopedic surgeon and frequently taking care of fractures, that a broken leg at that level is extremely painful. We have a lot of nerve endings that run along the bone in that area. The tibia -- our leg bone -- is sort of exposed, if you will, just under the skin in the front of our leg. So, it's a very sensitive area, as anyone knows if they have bumped their shin against something. Fracturing it is going to be a quantum leap in terms of increase in pain. It's a very painful injury and then, of course, there is the shock effect as well.
"There were several factors in performing the surgery, where I felt it was in Anderson's best interest, not to be addressing the fibula separately," Sanders explained. "There is certainly a chance that it can heal on it's own, so that, of course, gives him the benefit of the doubt. That also would've meant making an incision where the fracture occurred on the other bone, and I felt that would have had a negative effect on the biology, the early biology of healing. There were a couple of strategic reasons not to fix the fibula at this time. If it turns out that the fibula, the smaller bone, is the problem, than certainly that can be addressed down the road with a minor, almost outpatient operation.
"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. 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 could be anywhere from six to 12 months."