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The Washington Post Interviews Dr. Mandelbaum about Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy Undergoing Microfracture Surgery

Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, a co-chair of the Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, and Dr. Luga Podesta, who served as the team physician for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels for a combined 19 seasons, said Murphy could need up to 12 months depending on some variables, including the size and location of the defect in the cartilage. They both said it’s usually somewhere in the middle.

“There’s a range. We don’t know this case,” Dr. Mandelbaum said. “The range could be six to 12 months, depending on the size and depth of the lesion. If it’s a relatively small one, it could be on the six-month side. If it’s a big one, it could be closer to the 12-month side. So I hate to put a number on this situation. I’d want to put a range depending on, for example, if it’s a five-millimeter hole, it’s one thing. If it’s a 20-millimeter hole, it’s a different thing. The devil’s in the details and it’s very scalable.”

There are exceptions to the range. Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, for example, underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee on Oct. 21, 2015 and was on the Dodgers’ 2016 Opening Day roster, though he didn’t start until the team’s fifth game of the season on April 11.

Mandelbaum said people usually are on crutches and use a motion machine to stimulate healing for about six weeks after microfracture surgery. They could begin swimming and biking exercises after about three weeks. A gradual progression is then made over the next three to nine months.

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