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January 12, 1990

Knee Remains Achilles' Heel for Many Athletes Despite Improved Therapy

JAMA. 1990;263(2):196-197. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440020014004

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AMONG THE REASONS why the Chicago (Ill) Bears professional football team will not be playing in this month's Super Bowl may be what possibly are two of the best-known knees in the Windy City.

They belong to Dan Hampton, a tackle for the Bears, who started the season as a veteran of eight knee surgeries. After four games, he required a ninth operation, at which point his physician, Lanny Johnson, MD, of East Lansing, Mich, repeated his advice that it was time to retire from professional football.

Ten Operations  Hampton, 32, now has had 10 operations. He reportedly has had tears of all four menisci and has degenerative arthritis.Hampton chose to continue with the Bears for this season, and Johnson now says: "There has been so much microtrauma that he is losing the battle."Hampton has not yet decided whether to take Johnson's advice about retiring. But his public