We have established this Blog to share any and all thoughts and discuss issues relating to Notre Dame Football.
We are Subway Alumni Notre Dame Fans who love IRISH Football and The University of Notre Dame Du Lac. This is the place to interact, learn, discuss, perk interest, argue, keep you informed, have some fun and maybe help perpetuate the traditions and history of Notre Dame Football.

Check out the archives, for some great posts or scroll down the right side for the most popular. At the bottom of the Blog, we have added 50+ neat pictures of the Notre Dame Campus.

Don't forget to add us to your favorites list: http://subwayalumnistation.blogspot.com

Feel free to make comments to the posts. We read and try to answer all of them.
Email us at: dragonspress@gmail.com
Welcome Aboard!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cameron Roberson Injury - When Will He Be Back?

So when can we expect Cameron Roberson back on the field?  Lot questions only a few answers.  We have called upon our resident Physical Therapist (PT) Alex Brenner to give us a run-down on what a PT would expect once he gets his hands on a patient such as Roberson from an orthopedic surgeon.

Brenner writes:

Kelly announced that his suspicions were correct about Cameron Roberson’s knee injury. It appears he has a torn lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). At this time I have very limited information on this injury and can at best give an educated guess on his recovery time. It would be nice to know if this was a contact or a non-contact mechanism of injury.

Quick Anatomy Lesson

The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is a very strong ligament that runs on the outside of the knee and connects the thigh bone (femur) to the lower leg bone (fibula) while simultaneously providing lateral side-to-side support of the knee. It is what helps keep the knee to articulate as a hinge and plays a very important role in the lateral stability of the knee.

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is the ligament in the knee that most people have heard of and is probably the most commonly torn ligament in the knee. It runs from the underside of femur to the tibia and crosses over the PCL. It also plays an important role in stability of the knee, especially in the anterior to posterior direction. On a side note (with Easter in mind), cruciate means “arranged in forming a cross” and comes from the latin word of “crux” which means cross. You can see above the two ligaments (ACL and PCL) forming that cross.


The ACL is most commonly torn during a non-contact event, meaning the player was running and made a cut to avoid a tackler and goes down without even being touched by a defender. A good example of this caught on tape was Dayne Crist from the 2009 season against Washington State. Other ways to tear the ACL include blunt trauma from a tackler that forces the knee into hyperextension. The lateral collateral ligament is most commonly torn from a direct contact blow to the outside portion of the knee. The blunt force causes the knee to be forced inward resulting in the tear. As an educated guess, Roberson sustained a lateral blow to the knee such that the LCL was completely torn and the ACL was partially torn.


The big question here is whether or not Roberson will need surgery. Again, without examining this patient it is difficult to ascertain from a brief MRI report what his recovery might entail. Partially torn ACL ligaments are very common and are not typically repaired surgically unless it is hanging by a thread of tissue. It is very common for athletes even with 50-75% of the ACL torn to return to competitive play without having a surgical repair. The prognosis for an isolated partially torn ACL is very good and in fact, these do not need surgery and can recovery can be as quick as 2-3 months. Unfortunately, it appears that Roberson has a complete torn LCL. This makes the situation a bit more precarious. A completely torn LCL will most likely require surgery to repair because if there are no fibers of the LCL intact it will need to be sewed together by a surgeon. A partially torn LCL and ACL could heal on its own without surgery. I am certain the Ortho surgery team is currently contemplating these same questions and time is of the essence.

If he undergoes surgery they will most likely only repair the LCL and leave the ACL alone assuming he has at least 25% of the ACL fibers intact. Recovery for just the LCL repair is 4-6 months, best case scenario, start to finish. If no surgery is needed then we can assume the LCL and ACL are both only partially torn. Rehab for that scenario is more like 3-4 months.

Lastly, with a blunt force knee injury the meniscus (cups of cartilage between the thigh bone and leg bone) are almost always injured. I have not heard them mention that the meniscus is torn but if it turns out that he has torn meniscus on top of a LCL and partial ACL then the rehab time could be a few months longer.

Don’t forget to add us to your favorites list: http://subwayalumnistation.blogspot.com

No comments: