There are not many injuries to athletes that can be considered career threatening. Unfortunately for Teddy Bridgewater, knee dislocation is one of those injuries. With that said, Bridgewater should count his blessings that the injury he sustained in practice yesterday did not cause more damage.
Reports suggest that Bridgewater has torn at least his ACL among other structure but did not damage his nerve or artery, a fact that we can all be thankful for. First and foremost, this young man seems to have come out of the immediate dangers of this devastating injury, and now we can break down his injury and prognosis.
Reports came flooding in yesterday afternoon that Bridgewater suffered a gruesome knee injury and was being transported by ambulance to a nearby trauma hospital. This rang a few alarms immediately. Simple ligament injuries do not require paramedic transport or trauma hospitals. It seems like Bridgewater suffered a more complex type of injury from the get go. Eventually, we learned that Bridgewater suffered a knee dislocation and was undergoing immediate MRI. Knee dislocations are considered true “orthopedic emergencies.” When the tibia dislocated from the femur, not only are multiple ligaments usually damaged, but the important nerve and artery behind the knee are at risk of serious damage. This injury can very quickly become limb-threatening. Knee dislocations either spontaneously reduce or need to be reduced manually, but require close attention over the coming hours for neurovascular monitoring.
Fortunately, Bridgewater seems to have cleared this hurdle. 60% of knee dislocations are associated with a fracture as well, usually to the tibial plateau. We haven’t heard for sure whether he is clear of a minor fracture, but it seems likely that he has avoided a major fracture to the periarticular surface of the knee. The four major ligaments in the knee are the ACL, PCL, MCL, and LCL. Literature has shown that usually three of these four ligaments are disrupted in knee dislocations. Current reports have confirmed only an ACL tear, but it should come as no surprise if more ligaments are mentioned later. Bridgewater will have surgery in the coming days to begin the repair process. Obviously, the ACL will be reconstructed, but other damage to the knee could include meniscus injury, cartilage damage, or ligament damage as mentioned above which will also be addressed at the time of surgery. These surgeries can be performed arthroscopically in a minimally invasive way. Generally, this usually only requires a single surgery but extensive rehabilitation will follow.
The prognosis with Bridgewater is about as good as can be for this type of injury. There is only a single confirmed ligament injury reported. There is no vascular or neurologic injury. The Vikings medical staff should be commended for the quick response and handling of this very serious situation. Bridgewater will push to return in 2017 assuming he can avoid setbacks.
As for fantasy impact, the obvious question becomes Adrian Peterson’s draft stock. Personally, I am in the camp that losing Bridgewater does not hurt Peterson. We have seen what Peterson can do with Christian Ponder at quarterback. While defenses may be able to focus more on Peterson, I believe he has the ability to overcome that fantasy-wise with the increase in touches he is likely to receive. Peterson remains a Tier 1 running back on my board. Stefon Diggs, on the other hand, takes a big hit for me and falls off my draft board.
The views of this show are strictly our own personal opinions and are in no way affiliated with any institution or any of our employers. All medical knowledge expressed is solely based off our own knowledge and no private patient information was obtained or used to formulate these opinions.