Josh Samman talks knee injury, surgery and yoga

USA TODAY Sports

UFC middleweight fighter and TUF 17 alumnus Josh Samman addresses his nagging knee injury, how it occurred and the two surgeries he has had to correct the problem.

I wonder if Josh Samman still does yoga.

That's how he originally injured his left knee. He has had two surgeries to correct the damage, and in a recent interview with MMA Sentinel he detailed his struggles with the knee injury that dates to before his time on The Ultimate Fighter.

I tore my meniscus doing yoga a few years ago. This was before the Mikey Gomez fight, before The Ultimate Fighter... When you tear your meniscus, you have two options. You can get a meniscectomy where the doctor goes in and shaves out whichever part is torn. Or you can get a meniscal repair. The repair is when the doctor goes in and tries to sew up and fix your meniscus... as long as the surgery takes, and as long as it is successful, then that's the ideal route to go is the meniscal repair. So that's what we tried to do the first time. And It kind of bugged me off and on after that. I was able to fight obviously. I went through four fights on The Ultimate Fighter and I fought Kevin Casey. But then I jumped into- Nick Ring had some passport or something issues with that Boston fight, so they called me to replace Nick, and I kinda jumped right back into a training camp. I didn't have a little pre-training camp like I like to do to get in shape first. I just started pushing it really really hard. And yeah, one day in practice it just gave out and started doing all the same things that it was doing before I had the first surgery. So this time, we went in and we did a meniscectomy and took about 20% of my medial meniscus out and I haven't had any problems since then. So I hope it stays that way, and hopefully I don't have to deal with arthritis in about 40 years if I'm still alive then.

The meniscus has a rich blood supply in it's outer portion (or periphery). Tears in this area of the meniscus are often treated successfully with a repair rather than removal of the torn portion. In Samman's case, it appears that he never had full healing of the tear, as he continued having problems with the knee following the first surgery. Medical literature suggests that an athlete should expect some level of degenerative joint changes ("arthritis") in the knee following meniscectomy. The degree of these changes can be influenced by factors such as the amount of meniscus tissue removed and the level of athletic activity following the surgery. Obviously, MMA competition is very stressful on the knee so I would expect that Josh will have some level of arthritis years down the road.

Josh will return to the Octagon on April 19 at UFC on Fox 11, when he fights Caio Magalhaes.

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