Orthopedics: The $400,000 Knee

There was relatively little wrong with Joseph William Namath, 21, when he checked into Manhattan's Lenox Hill Hospital last week. But there was a great deal more than usual riding on the routine surgery that was scheduled for repair of the torn cartilage in his right knee. By signing an unprecedented three-year contract with the poised and polished quarterback from the University of Alabama, the New York Jets had bet $400,000 that surgery was capable of undoing the damage done by football to one of the weakest and most vulnerable joints in the human body.

In an early October game...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!