View Full Version : Vikings: What to expect from Culpepper?

11-12-2005, 02:56 PM
Vikings: What to expect from Culpepper? Ask an expert

A prominent knee surgeon says the QB might be ready in nine months, although his mobility would be limited.

Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
Last update: November 11, 2005 at 8:55 PM

Daunte Culpepper will undergo surgery to repair three torn ligaments in his right knee next week, and one of the foremost experts in the field said it's realistic to expect the Vikings quarterback to return in nine months.

But Dr. William Clancy Jr. cautions that no one should expect the Culpepper who takes the field sometime next August to resemble the mobile player who could take off at any moment and cause defenses multiple headaches.

"He's got a good chance of getting back," Clancy said, "but it will probably take him 1½ years to be at the level he was before he got hurt."

Culpepper tore the anterior cruciate, medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee on Oct. 30 when he was hit by Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble while scrambling on the final play of the first quarter in the Vikings' 38-13 loss at Carolina.

Although he is not treating Culpepper, Clancy has an extensive background in sports medicine and is considered one of the leading knee surgeons in the world. Based at Orthopedic Associates of Aspen and Glenwood, Colo., since August 2004, Clancy spent the previous 15 years working with Dr. James Andrews at the Alabama Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center.

Andrews, whose office declined to comment for this story, will perform the surgery on Culpepper's ACL, MCL and PCL early next week in Alabama. The only ligament Culpepper didn't tear was the lateral collateral ligament.

All of these joints work together to keep the knee stable. The MCL supports the inner portion and the LCL the outer; the ACL and PCL provide support in the center.

The ACL and MCL must be fixed. Culpepper could run forward without an ACL, but he couldn't stop and change directions; the MCL prevents the knee from collapsing inward, meaning if Culpepper tried to cut with a damaged MCL he would simply fall.

The PCL, though, has to do with flexion and not rotation; therefore doctors don't know how crucial it is for athletic performance. Clancy pointed out the decision could be made not to repair it. "If somebody has an isolated tear of the PCL, 90 percent of most athletes are going to be able to play without any feeling of instability or anything," he said.

Clancy points to Detroit Red Wings veteran Steve Yzerman as an example. Clancy, who performs many of the surgical procedures for the hockey team, said Yzerman has been playing without a PCL for 20 years.

Culpepper, his agent, Mason Ashe, and the Vikings all will be involved in the discussion with Andrews about the surgery, and there could be a determination made beforehand that all three ligaments should be fixed. It certainly helps that the ACL and PCL can be mended through arthroscopic procedures.

But Clancy said a curveball could be thrown into the procedure if there is damage to the posterolateral corner, which serves several key functions and helps to stabilize the knee. "Then it becomes a more complicated problem in that [Andrews] might be forced to fix everything," Clancy said. "But I don't think that's probably going to be what he finds. The posterolateral corner is probably not injured, but the media doesn't always know what's going on."

While it has been nearly two weeks since Culpepper was injured, surgery was put off so the swelling could subside. He spent much of the time coming into the team's Winter Park facility and doing simple exercises.

"The biggest thing you're looking for with a player, as far as the knee surgery goes, is getting the full range of motion or as near a full range of motion as you can," Vikings athletic trainer Chuck Barta said. "Basically, the extension is the most important part. Getting the leg so it straightens all the way out.

"To do that, the swelling in the knee has got to resolve quite a bit. But at the same time you want to maintain the quadriceps contraction, where you can get a strong contraction. You're not going to really build strength in it as much as just maintain what you've got in that quad at the time."

That is important because it helps with the rehabilitation process after surgery. "The key thing will be getting a range of motion and his strength back," Clancy said. "Everybody is different in how much they scar, and they have no control over that. ... It's grueling. He had a terrible injury."

Culpepper will be the second Vikings player this season to have Andrews perform knee surgery on him. Safety Willie Offord, who had his ACL repaired in Birmingham after tearing it in Week 3 against New Orleans, gives Andrews high marks. "I really just talked to him and tried to get a good feel for him," Offord said. "He's supposed to be the best, and I told him to just make sure he was the best on that day."

11-12-2005, 02:58 PM
From the San Jose Mercury News;

Culpepper to have surgery next week on injured knee

Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper will have surgery on his injured right knee next week in Alabama.

The operation will be performed in Birmingham by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, but the exact date has not yet been set, Vikings athletic trainer Chuck Barta said Friday.

The anterior cruciate, medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments in Culpepper's knee were all torn when he was hit low during a run in the Oct. 30 game at Carolina. Surgery has been delayed to wait for the swelling to subside.

The expected length of Culpepper's rehabilitation won't be fully known until the operation is performed, but the team has said it anticipates the three-time Pro Bowl pick to heal in time for the start of the 2006 season.

11-12-2005, 04:11 PM
i know wat to expect lol. him to be out for season. poor daunte

11-12-2005, 04:51 PM
well that is good that the doctor thinks that he will be around for the 2006 season!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11-12-2005, 05:07 PM
He won'y be 100% until the 2007 season though.

11-12-2005, 05:24 PM
Reading this article I couln't help but think of how far sports medicine has evolved in the last 20 years or so. Knee surgery is such a highly specialized procedure now, and these surgeons perform an astounding number of operations each year. Its amazing to me how many kids at the junior high and high school level are having ACL surgery done.

If Daunte had played in the 60's or 70's, his injury would almost certainly be career ending.

Then again, in the 60's and 70's we didn't have 260 lb. quarterbacks who could run like him either

11-12-2005, 06:38 PM
Daunte doesn't plant on his right leg when he passes the ball anyway. Hell, this might be a good thing after all. He'll learn to be a pocket passer and than we can win the super bowl.

11-12-2005, 08:29 PM
I think Daunte will come back much lighter than years before - 240.

11-12-2005, 09:32 PM
daunte has the same injurys as rodney harrison, so that means the same for him

11-12-2005, 09:50 PM
Sam.. Daunte's is a lil more severe.. He torn all three Ligements in his knee.. Rodney only tore his ACL

11-12-2005, 10:06 PM
next week is the big day. hopefully it will go well when he goes under the knife and the doctor does a great job so he can get back to the field.

11-15-2005, 07:25 AM
well thats what always happens to the ring leader on the love boat, j/k

11-15-2005, 01:31 PM
"collegeguyjeff" wrote:

well thats what always happens to the ring leader on the love boat, j/k

This is your 2nd Pep bashing post in a row!

What's up?