Surgeon Details Anderson Silva’s Surgery, Expects Full Recovery

December 30, 2013
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Anderson SilvaDr. Steven Sanders, who performed the surgery on former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s broken leg in the early hours of Sunday morning, detailed the procedure and recovery process during a media conference call on Monday.

Silva broke both the tibia and fibula in his left leg during the UFC 168 main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Dec. 28 when champion Chris Weidman checked an inside leg kick. The fractures occurred about equal distance from the ankle. Sanders described the injury as “fairly severe,” and the leg was stabilized inside the Octagon.

Silva was transported to Universal Medical Center in Las Vegas, and after being counseled by doctors, decided to proceed with immediate surgery. The procedure took “about an hour,” and consisted of having a titanium rod inserted in the tibia. Three screws were placed in the rod to stabilize the bone while the fibula is expected to heal on its own. The titanium rod will likely remain in Silva’s leg for the rest of his life, unless he elects to have it removed after the healing process is complete.

While the injury was unfortunate, Silva was lucky that it wasn’t worse. Had the bone punctured the skin, the likelihood of infection would have escalated and could have resulted, in some cases, with amputation of the limb.

Dr. Sanders expects Silva’s bones to re-assume their original strength and believes the 38-year-old could return to fighting. The bones should heal within three to six months, and Silva could be back to training in six to nine months. Silva’s age will play no factor in the healing process.

According to the surgeon, Silva asked, prior to being placed under general anesthesia before surgery, “when can I train?” Since the procedure, Silva has repeatedly asked the same question.

Following surgery, Silva was placed in a posterior splint and is already using crutches. He faces a long recovery ahead, but will be able to put some weight on the leg in a few weeks. After the bones heal, Silva will enter the rehabilitation phase to strengthen the muscles and soft tissue. The bones themselves will not require any rehabilitation.

He’ll start with range of motion rehab on his knee and angle and then move on to weight bearing rehabilitation.

Silva remains in the hospital with no timeframe for release. Typically, patients with injuries similar to Silva’s remain hospitalized for several days.

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  • DzzO

    anderson silva’s skin is as thick as a rhino’s… never seen it punctured.

    • Jason Tracey

      Like dan henderson lol

  • taylor2008

    Hope to see you fighting soon Anderson.

  • Andersonwasthemanistheman

    I hope he doesnt come back, everyone knows hes the GOAT, he probably knows deep down he is superior to weidman, and was just unfortunate with the leg kick, but clownin in the first cost him and God was smiling on weidman in the second. I hope he dont end up like liddell or wandy and keep fightin to long

    • taylor2008

      Thats what fighting is about. You seem to forget Anderson has never won a round from Weidman and they have fought in 4 . Weidman won the first round of the first fight and KO’d Silva in the second. It wasnt about goofing around. Thats what NAderson does. He baits people in then KO’s them. Weidman didnt fall for baiting. Anderson started to do that because he had no answer for Weidmans patient style. Second fight Weidman dominated and almost KO’d him again. Did you forget about the clinch and punch?
      Sorry, Weidman is a better fighter. Give him his due.

      • Bobby trent

        Isnt better, and durin the stand up in the first anderson was startin to pick him apart, weidman is amazin but lets not go overboard on this dude, and has anyone ever done any damage to anderson on the ground, he never even has a mark on his face, he rolls on the ground and only takes glancing blows, he does more damage from the bottom than they do on top, the clinch shot tho did hurt him ill give you that.. Andersons just gettin old nearly 39…

        • taylor2008

          If Anderson was having such an easy time picking him apart why did he get KO’d? I saw that Anderson was getting frustrated that Chris was a patient fighter and wasnt falling for the bait tactic Silva uses. Weidman was patient and KO’d him.
          He doesnt have a freaking mark on his face because it doesnt show up like it would on a white guy. You forgetting Silva is black?
          Anderson is getting old but Weidman doesnt have near the experience as Silva and he still fought him better than anyone. Chris will get better. 2nd round KO in first fight and almost another in the second. Anderson met his match….period!

          • John doe

            King mo is black did you see his face after mous fight… He didnt meet his match he was dancin and messin in the first fight, but overdid it, weidman is a better wrestler and he had luck on his side, albeit luck that anderson gave to him by dancing around, weidman is not his equal and i dont even like anderson. Jon jones is black did you see his face after gust fight… Being black doesnt mean if people hit you, you will not mark..

          • Lebronron

            Snap u both said the same thing basically.. But you are correct… Anderson was just unfornate

          • taylor2008

            I saw Mo and he was getting beat a lot more. And so was Jones in the Gus fight. And Anderson was getting frustrated because Weidman wasnt falling for the baiting in stuff Silva does. Silva didnt want any part of Weidman on the ground and he wasnt doing much of anything standing up. Weidman was a smart fighter. What Silva did to other fighters Weidman was doign to Silva.
            And I NEVER said if someone is black they wont mark. I fought in 3 MMA matches and 10 Muay thai matches. I saw first hand close up how some people mark and some dont. Having light skin marks will show up a lot more than if one was black. Its a fact. Doesnt mean someone with darker skin doesnt show.
            Face it….Anderson got beat both fights fair and square. He had no answer for Weidman and weidman wasnt going to play into Silvas game. He got KO’d in the first fight and had his leg broke in the second. Thats part of fighting and contact sports.

          • Andersoniswasistheman

            King mo is black did you see his face after mousas fight.. Jon jones is black did you see his face after gust? Just bcoz hes black doesnt mean he doesnt mark up… As for the first fight he got careless and danced to much period…

          • taylor2008

            He didnt get careless. Dancing around like that is what Anderson does. He KO’d lots of guys like that. And sometimes he would do that when he couldnt find a way to really beat someone. You people wont give Weidman his due. I am a Silva fan but the fact is he never took 1 round out of the 4 he faced Weidman. No fluke. Weidman won. Accept it. Weidman has a hard style to beat. I will bet that if Vitor fought Anderson again he would beat him. He wouldnt be stupid enough again to stand right in front of him.

          • archaictext

            I mostly agree with you, but not about the black thing. You can tell when black people get lumped up. Some people just don’t damage as easy.

          • taylor2008

            I agree with you. I had 3 MMA fights and several kickboxing/Thai fights. One of the guys I KO’d had a broken jaw and his face hurt in other areas. Couldnt even tell he was hurt.

          • Pat Garret

            You said, that u fought mma fights, and Thai fights. Can I see any of your fights on YouTube???

        • Me

          Picking him apart? You’re delusional – Silva never won a single moment of that fight.

    • Maddawgmar

      Say what you want, the reason Silva’s leg broke was because of perfect technique by Weidman, period. There was no point in either fight where Silva was winning. Plus Silva got KO’d by Weidman in the 1st rd, the only reason the fight wasn’t stopped was because the ref was out of position, and to Silva’s credit recovered before the ref saw. About 14 minutes of fighting between the two fights and Silva wasn’t winning a single minute. I love Silva as much as the next guy, but give Weidman the credit he is due.

      • BRAZILIANDESTROYERweidman

        NO S***, AND NOT TO MENTION……
        DUDE WAS NOOOOOOT A GOAT…..DUDE FOUGHT (CANS) mid tear fighters WHOLE CAREER HE ONLY HAD 3 OR 4 GOOD FIGHTERS THAT HE WENT AGAINST WHOLE CAREER……DAN HENDERSON,. CHAEL SONNEN,,,AND THE REAL CHAMP….WEIDMAN…..THE CHAMP IS HERE!!!!!!! I HATE WHEN PEOPLE CALL THIS **** A GOAT …..GOATS DON’T GET DESTROYEDDDDDDDDD…..THE CHAMP IS HERE!!!!!!!

      • archaictext

        I agree with you man, but the die hard Silva fans won’t give it up. The thing of it is, in many of Silva’s fights, he has come back from being beaten by a stronger wrestler, to win by some amazing striking and or submission. Many people are talking about whether or not he was losing during most of the two fights, but it’s a moot point. He wasn’t looking good though. Weidman deserves respect like you said.

      • Me

        The truth and nothing but the truth.

      • Jason Tracey

        i don’t care for either fighter, but Weidmen’s technique is only part of the reason why Silva’s leg snapped. Check out Bas Rutten’s take on the situation. It helps explain why the lack of commitment, among others things, were reasons for the brake.

        • Maddawgmar

          That could be true, but from the look of the replay, he had solid technique in the kick, he pivoted his hips, dropped his left hand for further momentum, pretty standard Muay Thai technique. Maybe if he stepped into the kick it might not have broken, but that he was backing up to stay away from Weidman’s grappling. I can’t see how you can’t attribute the break to what Weidman done rather than what Silva didn’t do.

    • Brent

      I agree with Taylor. Call it anyway you want, but Weidman has 2 ko/tko victories over Silva. SIlva flat out got KO’d in the 1st fight. In the second, he was dangerously close to being KO’d again before the brutal leg break. He’s 38. He’s been the best there ever was, but a better and younger fighter has his number.

      • Louca

        younger not better

    • Denny Swain

      Clowning silva lost and serious silva lost, to a superior fighter. Maybe gun toting silva would win

  • https://www.facebook.com/bestnicknameeverbros Eugenio Croitoru

    “When can I train?”

    What a true legend.

  • soah

    stupid question. But can a fighter be allowed to compete when they have a foreign surgical object installed in their body??

    Will A.S. have to get the titanium rod removed before being cleared by any athletic commission to compete?

    • Maddawgmar

      I would assume so, if not I would consider putting Titanium plates in my fists and legs and take up fighting.

    • Guest

      Yes, you can, if it is for medical reasons, such as trying to strengthen and/or rehab an injury. I believe the most notable case I know is Jake Ellenberger who has a titanium plate in his right hand because he broke it awhile back. It’s not a big deal, or it’s not made out to be a big deal, but he doesn’t seem to have a problem getting confirmation from the athletic commissions to fight even with a plate in his hand.

    • Fightfan77

      Yes, he can compete with rod in leg. Many fights break bones especially in the hands & have surgeries placing surgical objects to help stop reoccurring breaks. Also the rod was placed inside bone. Not on top of bone like wolverine. So his kicks would not hurt his opponent any more than before surgery.

    • soah

      Thanks for all the replies! Much appreciated.

  • 可卡因

    Lol at the people saying Weidman is better… yea A.S. did screw around in the first fight which cost him. And yea he did almost get KO’d in the second fight, but he recovered quickly and made Weidman bleed from the bottom. the leg check was good, but how often does a beeak occur? almost never. I’ll gve Weidman credit when he beats all the people at the top of the division like Silva did.

    • Denny Swain

      Like you hold the glory, lol. Weidman already got paid for fight and is still.champ regardless if you acknowledge it or not.talk about lol

    • Big Tuna

      He is better and proved it by dropping Anderson in two fights…I thought no way he’d lose the last one but the proof is undeniable whatever it is that Weidman does Silva has no answer weird but true!

    • King_DG

      nice selfie, do you even lift bro? LOL you look hungry, would you like a sandwich?

      • 可卡因

        lol its called being in shape? your probably fat lmaoo

        • King_DG

          yeah you’re in shape alright, in shape like a 16 yr old girl that plays volleyball, seriously you gotta start lifting bro, stop doing ballet

    • $27054044

      Weidman was bleeding from his bottom?

  • Yves Hairston

    Wish Silva would’ve never taken a dive in the first fight but he did let Dana White talk him into it looking for the big payday in the rematch ufc is turning into what boxing is and it will die off soon smell the corruption

    • dgs

      Yeah, Silva took a dive in the first fight, and Bigfoot, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus are all at my place hanging out sipping on a couple of brews. Bigfoot is especially fond of Corona with a slice of lime, who would have thunk it? The biggest surprise however is the Tooth Fairy, what a little hussy she is!

      • ShamLamDoobly

        You’re friends with Bigfoot Silva? Cool.

    • Big Tuna

      Really? Hard to even respond to your silliness, Anderson was served two slices of humble pie to close out a brilliant career that was lined in flashy showboating ways. It’s funny how life works itself out where a flashy dancer like Anderson gets embarrassed on a worldwide stage he used to clown his opponents.’

      • Tony

        I had to make sure I let you know I voted down your comment. “It’s funny how life works itself out … ” That was super duper corny.

  • lowlb

    I wonder if they will take the rod out of his leg at that point. Often it’s left in the leg. Can you imagine getting a leg kick from AS with a steel rod in his leg?

    • yingyangpalms

      It is not just under the skin. The impact would be no different.

  • NickDiaz209

    He’s gonna put a hurting on everyone like Lex Luger and the titanium rod in his forearm…..FINISH HIM!!!!!

  • AXE MURDERER

    Give him Cung Le 1st fight back then the super fight with gspp….