The bad news for Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is that his broken right arm did require surgery. The good news for Big Nog is that the operation will allow him to return to competition in roughly six months, which is better than the nine month timeline Dr. Tom Hackett had originally laid out.
“Mr. Nogueira suffered a complex fracture of his right humerus,” Dr. Tom Hackett explained. “The fracture started at the mid-portion of the bone and extended into his elbow region. Unfortunately, the radial nerve (one of the main nerves that gives power and sensation to the hand) was injured by the event.
“The nerve was in the area of the fracture and the bone was pinching the nerve. Prior to the surgery he had very little strength in his hand and no strength in his thumb.”
The procedure was performed at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado over the weekend. Nogueira was forced to go under the knife after Frank Mir did THIS to his arm because the Brazilian refused to submit to a kimura at UFC 140 until it was too late.
It was initially believed the legend wouldn’t require surgery, but Hackett felt it was best to move forward with the operation because of the nerve complications.
“The surgery involved an incision down the back of his arm,” Hackett added. “The nerve was taken out of the fracture site and treated. The fracture was fixed with a plate and 16 screws and now less than 12 hours after the surgery the function is returning to his hand and the bone is fixed.”
Hackett anticipates an arduous rehabilitation process, but Nogueira is expected to make a complete and full recovery. The 35-year-old should be able to begin training within the next several months and back in action in six months or less.