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Arian Foster Surgery Successful, Foster Expected To Be Out 2 To 3 Months

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Today Arian Foster underwent a successful surgical procedure to repair a groin injury he sustained in training camp on Monday. Read about the details of the procedure and the estimated recovery time before he is back in action with the Houston Texans.

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Your Houston Texans will reportedly be without All-Pro running back Arian Foster for about 2 to 3 months following today's surgery to repair his torn groin muscle.  He sustained the injury Monday, which was the the first practice for the team with full pads for the 2015 training camp.

We previously reported some optimistic opinions by Dr. David Chao from his recent interview on Sports Radio 610, but it would appear that the anticipated duration of the recovery period will indeed have Foster sidelined through the first eight games of the season.  The NFL has Houston's bye week scheduled for Week Nine, so that might put Foster's return around Week Ten when the Texans go on the road to face the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.

Aaron Wilson provided the following in his article on Chron.com:

Dr. William Meyers conducted the procedure for the Pro-Bowl runner.

Foster is a candidate to be placed on injured reserve-designated to return prior to the start of the regular season, which would entail him not returning to practice until the sixth week of the regular season and not allowed to play in games until after the eighth week of the season.

Meyers is the same doctor who performed Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney’s sports hernia surgery and has done thousands of these procedures, including on several professional athletes

"Dr. Meyers performs a Bassini-type hernia repair that he has performed on hundreds of professional athletes who have suffered a sports hernia," said Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, an orthopedic surgeon at Santa Monica Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group in California who does not treat Foster. "We published an article together in the ’90s regarding its effectiveness. Foster should be back to full form in two to three months depending on the details and spectrum of his injury."

The Texans haven’t signed another running back to join Alfred Blue, Chris Polk, Jonathan Grimes, rookie Kenny Hilliard and fullback Jay Prosch in the backfield. Veteran Pierre Thomas declined a one-year, $870,000 offer, the veteran minimum.

Polk has been nursing a hamstring injury that’s not regarded as serious.

"We didn’t make a move immediately because we felt like we were OK," Texans general manager Rick Smith said following practice Friday. "Chris Polk is on the mend and so, hopefully, he’ll be back soon. We’ll just keep adjusting to whatever happens out here on the field."

The Procedure Details

In case you are curious about the details of the surgery, I found this at philly.com:

The Surgeon

Meyers has performed more than 18,000 core muscle repair procedures in the past 25 years and his patient list reads like a who’s who of professional athletes.

What is it about Meyers’ technique that lures the nation’s top athletes to Philadelphia?

Most commonly in core muscle injuries, the rectus abdominus or adductor muscles are pulled off of the pubic bone, which causes the athlete pain. Often, these injuries are repaired by placing a cone of mesh into the tear to essentially "plug" the hole formed in the muscle.

However, in the early 1980s, while studying at Duke, Meyers stumbled upon an experiment that led to a new understanding of the injury.

"I was in the lab conducting an experiment on a cadaver," Meyers recalled. "I had a medical student put her fingers under some muscles while I cut them from above, and when I did that, the muscles jilted backwards and pinched her fingers between the bone. She let out a scream and suddenly I realized that the anatomy is a lot different than the way it was originally described. The whole core muscle complex contributes to the injury."

At the time, Meyers was following three basketball players at Duke and performed surgery on them, focusing on repairing the core muscles where he thought the injury was. As you can probably guess, it was successful.

"For years, people weren’t even in the ballpark of understanding the anatomy behind these injuries," said Meyers. "This experiment opened us up to a brand-new process of thinking."

The Surgery

Meyers has identified 18 different variations of core muscles injuries, which can range from torn muscles to frayed muscles to a weakness in the abdominal wall. A diagnosis can be difficult because, unlike more common hernias, there is not always a visible bulge in the leg or groin area.

Meyers performs an open procedure in which he exposes the muscle tear and then surgically reattaches the muscle to the pubic bone.

"When you tear one of the attachments, you start to compensate with other muscles," said Meyers. "It just comes down to finding which muscles are torn and which muscles are pulling too tight."

Rehabilitation Process

Rehabilitation from surgery for core muscle injuries is generally three to eight weeks, but can last longer depending upon the severity of the injury and surgery performed.

Typically, patients are expected to be walking one day postoperatively.

"Bill usually starts his patients in rehab the next day with a scar tissue massage," said Dr. John Salvo, who specializes in hip arthroscopy and preservation at Rothman Institute.

Physical therapy generally begins one week post-surgery. At the Vincera Institute, patients enjoy the convenience of physical therapy services located within the facility. Patients work to retrain the core and the rest of the muscles in the area, including the hamstrings, gluteals, and back, to work together more efficiently.

Success Rate

In the 25 years Meyers has been performing these surgeries, he has reported a 95 to 96 percent success rate.

"We measure the success rate by the number of patients who can return to their previous performance level or above following the surgery," said Meyers. "Most of the time, that four or five percent get better but they don’t make a full return because other problems, like those in the hip, start to creep in."

The good news is that it sounds like Foster will make a full recovery from this injury, but the bad news is that his team will have to play at least the first eight games without him.  That's not an easy void to fill by any means, especially for an offense that doesn't have a good record when he is absent from the field.

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That's the latest update, folks.  Chime in with your thoughts on this in the comments below.