Suffering a horrific compound fracture of his right leg during his UFC 261 rematch with Uriah Hall earlier this month, former middleweight champion, Chris Weidman has voiced his fears that he may require amputation of his right leg, having dealt with a prior surgical complication with his left thumb.
Rematching Spanish Town striking standout Hall on the main card of UFC 261 on April 24. at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida — Weidman suffered a compound fracture of his right tibia and fibula, after seeing a right leg kick checked by Hall just seventeen seconds into the first round of their tie.
Whipping a powerful right low kick, which was partially blocked by Hall just above the knee joint, Weidman saw his right leg wrap around the striker’s knee, before returning his body weight onto the leg, resulting in a horrifying compound fracture where his fibula exited above his ankle.
Immediately placing his leg into a compression sleeve, Octagon-side medical staff transported Weidman backstage via a stretcher, where he was subsequently brought to a medical facility. Per UFC president, Dana White, Weidman was expected to undergo a surgical procedure on his leg the following morning.
Providing an update on his official Instagram page, Weidman confirmed that the surgical procedure was a success, and that a titanium rod had been placed in his right leg through his knee, in order to attempt to stabilize his fibula. Upon consultation with doctors, Weidman explained how they believed his tibia could heal on its own after it was realigned when the titanium rod was inserted.
The long-time Serra-Longo trainee explained that it would be a period of eight weeks before he could walk without the help of crutches, and a further six to twelve months before he could begin mixed martial arts training again.
Detailing the pain barrier he’s still feeling since his return home, Weidman compared the effects of his surgery to prior injuries in another update video, and how he’s never experienced a pain that doesn’t subside after a few days post-operation.
“I figured this would have been kind of like other surgeries I’ve had in the past where the first three or four days kind of suck and then it just gets better from there but to be honest with you… the first three or four days were probably the best days I’ve had,” Weidman said. “Maybe the anesthesia was still in me and the inflammation may have been helping with some of the pain because — how many days am I out? Eight days out, something like that, from the surgery — after the three (or) four days, it was just super painful. I’m just literally sleeping all day. I was really trying not to take the oxycodone. I was just taking Tylenol and Ibuprofen and then at certain points throughout the day I may have taken an oxycodone if I really needed it.“
Weidman explained that when he needs to use the restroom or needs to use his crutches to navigate himself from a prone position, blood begins to pool within his right shin as well as his foot.
“The pain is getting up to go to the bathroom or anything like that is so bad,” Weidman explained. “When I have to go to the bathroom it takes such willpower and preparation mentally to get up because as soon as I start standing — well I don’t stand on the leg but on my crutches — the blood just starts pooling by my shin and my foot and just it is definitely brutal.“
Revealing that after his UFC Fight Night Uniondale headliner with Kelvin Gastelum back in July of 2017, he required an operation to repair a ligament issue with his left thumb, however, blood flow failed to return to the digit, resulting in another operation to remove the “dying” thumb from his hand, which was replaced by a piece of his hip bone.
Given the fact that he’s still dealing with some nerve and numbness issues in his right foot, Weidman explained that he’s quite fearful that his leg would need to be amputated if a similar issue arose with his tibia as with his thumb.
“I was pretty scared about this pain because I’m thinking about the worst-case scenarios,” Weidman said. “Worst-care scenario is that the blood supply doesn’t come back to my bone and doesn’t tale which would mean possible amputation. I had that happen to my thumb after I fought Kelvin Gastelum. I had surgery for a ligament that tore after throwing a left hook on him and then about eight weeks after surgery they realized that the blood supply to that bone, it was such a concussive shot that the blood supply wasn’t coming back. So they have to take my whole bone out and put my hip bone inside there because the (thumb) bone was just deteriorating and dying. So if that happened to my shin bone, my tibia, and fibula, I don’t know what would happen. Amputation, prosthetic leg, all that stuff.“
“So that (scenario) scares me and I’m praying and I’m positive it’s not going to happen but that’s a possibility,” Weidman explained. “I spoke to a doctor about it and actually tibia’s have the worst percentages of healing properly after surgery. It’s not a bad percentage, it’s like percent, but that’s scary.“
“The other thing is I have numbness on the bottom of my foot and a few of my toes,” Weidman said. “It’s tingling like they’re sleeping so i don’t have full control or the nerve isn’t fully back with that. So that’s a little scary as well. I’ve had twenty-three surgeries, this is my twenty-fourth and this is completely different in so many ways than anything I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve had neck surgeries and hand surgeries and every body part you could ever think of surgeries (on)and this has been pretty brutal.” (H/T MMA Fighting)
Eerily to a certain extent, Weidman rematched former middleweight kingpin, Anderson Silva at UFC 168 back in December of 2013, where the veteran Curitiba icon suffered an almost mirror-image leg fracture of his own when Weidman checked a second round leg kick from the Brazilian.
Silva, who’s set for a summer professional boxing match against former world champion, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has offered some advice to the recovering, Weidman.