Surgeon Says Derrick Rose’s Meniscus Tear May Not Heal Correctly

How meniscus tears heal is a tricky thing. According to orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Derek Ochiai, Rose's meniscus tear and ACL injuries aren't necessarily related, but the muscle Rose added to his frame and explosive playing style did contribute to him going back under the knife.

Via Sporting News:

“An ACL tear in one knee, and a meniscus tear in the other, that is not necessarily connected,” Dr. Ochiai said. “Looking at Derrick Rose, I would say that it is purely bad luck at this point. Part of it is, athletes are bigger, faster, more explosive, but that puts more pressure on the knee because of the way they play—their movement, their cutting, their change of direction. It predisposes you to meniscus tears or ACL tears. It’s like you’re cramming the engine of a Ferrari into a Yugo. It might make the Yugo go faster, but you are still going to have structural problems.”

As foreboding as that is for Rose's future, it's not surprising, but here's what is. According to Ochiai, there's no guarantee that Rose is out of the woods yet.

“It might not heal,” Ochiai said. “The success rate for meniscal tears is not close to 100 percent, but the younger somebody is, being an athlete, a non-smoker—those things help so there is less of a chance of it not healing. If you follow the protocol and limit range of motion, and you brace appropriately, use crutches appropriately, all those things, it is still about an 80 percent chance it heals, maybe 85 percent. If it doesn’t, he has to either do a re-repair or take out the torn part.”

Minnesota's Chase Budinger is another explosive leaper who had his meniscus repaired last November, only to suffer a setback in rehab this October that forced surgeons to remove 20 percent of his meniscus. He has yet to return to the lineup. The same setback stole Gilbert Arenas of his lightning-quick first step. Removing part of the meniscus is extremely detrimental to an athlete's long-term health and surgeons can't determine whether to snip nd cut or sew until they peel back the skin. The Bulls are in a similar position. They won't have a timetable for Rose's recovery until he is able to get back on the floor for training camp next fall.