Receiver Johnny Knox is injured while taking a hit from the Seahawks' Anthony Hargrove in the first quarter. Knox cracked one of the facet joints that keep the spinal column stable. Srdjan Mirkovic, the Bears' spine consultant and certified orthopedic surgeon on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, performed the surgery on Knox. Alex Ghanayem, a spine surgeon at Loyola University Medical Center, explained the recovery from a one level vertebral fusion, the procedure Knox underwent. "The bone has to heal first. But (you) don't start doing back exercises until two to three months after surgery, on average,'' he said. "In terms of getting back into sports ... we're talking six months after surgery is the rough minimum when you're ready for full-fledged contact. But that depends on how much damage there was, too, at the time of surgery.''
Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune
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