Zach Miller Progressing After Surgery

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 29: Zach Miller /

After successful vascular surgery, Zach Miller isn’t out of the woods, but is progressing well.

Zach Miller’s injury on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints reminds us just how dangerous the sport of football is. The focus of the dangers of football is usually on potential spinal injuries and concussions, and for good reason, but even injuries to appendages prove to be scary.

Zach Miller dislocated his knee so severely that he tore two ligaments and shredded the popliteal artery from above the knee-joint to below the knee, according to Chris Mortensen.

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Bears team doctor Mark Bowen is credited with recognizing the dire situation in Miller’s leg by noticing the weakening pulse and suspected arterial damage. Had Bowen not recognized the situation, Miller’s leg would have been lost.

The Chicago Bears announced on Monday that Miller had successful vascular surgery on Sunday and that doctors were able to graft a vein from his healthy leg to repair the popliteal artery. So far, Miller’s leg has been responding well.

Dr. David Chao is a great follow on twitter (@ProFootballDoc), and he explains exactly how dire the situation was with Miller on Sunday. Chao states that blood flow had to be restored within 6 hours before permanent damage is done, and the surgery itself is a multiple hour surgery, Miller had very little time to save his leg and the doctors were able to do so.

Chao also speculates that Miller will still need multiple surgeries to repair the orthopedic damage done to his leg, and also potentially more surgery to help stabilize his artery. In the article, Chao also states other players that have tried to return from that injury, none were very successful and none were as old as Miller. It appears that Miller’s NFL career is over.

Send Zach Miller some love (@ZMiller86), he’s in a tough spot and I’m sure would love to see plenty of support from Bears Nation.