Doctor talks of surgery like that of Ingram's

By Jonathan Hardison

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - With Mark Ingram sidelined, Crimson Tide fans wonder how long they'll be without their Heisman Memorial Trophy Award winner.

The university isn't releasing the specifics of Ingram's injuries, but the fact that Coach Saban mentioned  that a relatively short recovery time frame may give us some insight into what kind of rehab Ingram faces.

Ingram's surgery was performed by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Lyle Cain Tuesday morning.

Dr. Michael Blum has operated on thousands of knees over his career and says like the personalities of the patients and athletes he treat, each injury is different. "There's not 2 knees that are alike," Blum said. "You may have a simple cartilage tear that you can bried or clean out and have them back active within a week or a couple of weeks or it may be a ligament tear that takes a couple of months so every one is different."

Dr. Blum isn't involved in the diagnosis or treatment of Ingram's injury.  But he says in general, if an athlete has their knee scoped within 24 hours of the injury, as is the case with Ingram, it may mean the surgeon is cutting out damaged cartilage which can have a much faster recovery time than if the cartilage is repaired.

"If it's simply a tear of cartilage, meniscus that has a piece of cartilage flipping out, that can be debrided and they can be off their crutches the next day and running on it within 2 or 3 weeks," Blum said.     

Only Ingram's doctors know the extent of the injury and no one may be sure yet how long his rehab will take. But Dr. Blum says the fact that he is an athlete in prime condition can go a long way in cutting the recovery time.

"Patients that their muscle tone is strong and they have access to working out and are in good shape when they present with the injury, they will get over this a lot quicker," Blum said.

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