There may be some talk about Conor McGregor’s future in MMA—but don’t count him out just yet. In fact, that so-called “career-ending” leg break may actually be an advantage if he returns to the canvas. Yes, really.
Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician Dr. Chris Raynor recently took to YouTube to break down why Conor McGregor may have a technical advantage if he is able to return to MMA.
In the video, Dr. Raynor explains that McGregor suffered a combined fracture of the tibia and fibula likely due to his reliance on booming leg kicks to defeat Dustin Poirier in UFC 264—both in training for the fight and in actual competition. During a three-hour surgery to mend the break, McGregor’s tibia injury was repaired with an intramedullary nail (a.k.a a titanium rod), while the fibula was repaired with plates and screws.
Dr. Raynor explains that a titanium rod is used to repair tibia fractures because it acts similarly to bone, namely through slight bending on extreme impact. And here’s where that advantage comes in.
“When used to stabilize a tibia fracture, it functions as a load-bearing device until the fracture is healed, at which point it becomes redundant,” Dr. Raynor says of the titanium rod. “And this just means technically, after surgery, you could walk on [the leg] normally without fear that the bone would break. However, once healed, it is still in the bone, so it does offer an element of protection against further fracture.”
Raynor goes on to say, “It’s kinda like having a tibia inside a tibia. When you think of it that way, it just might be a secret weapon that McGregor has in his back pocket when he returns. In my opinion, in the future, it will take a lot more heat than what McGregor was cooking up at UFC 264 to damage that leg when he returns to competition.”
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