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Copyright Dr. Russell Russo, 2015.

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Dr. Russo's Sports Medicine Blog

October 30, 2015

Pelicans fans are probably wondering who comes up with these rules on how many minutes Jrue Holiday can play each game.

 

It isn't easy for the medical staff to make the decision to hold a star player out the game, especially when fans, coaches, and staff are probably pushing to get Jrue back on the court.  The problem is the Pelicans star has had recurrent tibial stress fractures despite surgery and rest.  There is no special formula out there to calculate the exact time someone can play.  Doctors have to weigh the risks and benefits of the patient and balance winning with staying healthy.  (And that was not something we were taught in medical school)

 

Tall thin basketball players who are jumping and coming down on a hard court are a set-up for stress injuries to the tibia (a narrow bone that must absorb all our body weight).  

 

Stress injuries to the tibia are a spectrum of disorders ranging from "shin splints" to outright fractures.  The earlier we diagnose and treat...

October 19, 2015

After the crazy ending to the Michigan-MIchigan State game, there were a few medical storylines.  One guy's heart couldn't take the wild turn of events and suffered a heart attack in the stands, but was saved by a fast acting EMS crew.

​The other story was Jalen Watts-Jackson (#20 - MIch St.) suffering a hip fracture and dislocation at the end of the game winning touchdown.  Unlike other joints of the body, the hip is a ball and socket joint that requires a tremendous amount of force to dislocate.  Usually the socket is broken in the back as the ball pops backwards.  These injuries are more often seen in car accidents rather than football games.

 

The major concern after a traumatic event is not just hip instability, but preserving the blood supply the ball of the hip.  As in the picture below, once the blood supply is disrupted, the ball will fragment as lose its circular shape in a process known as AVN (Avascular Necrosis).  The only lasting treatment would then be...

October 10, 2015

My colleague, Scott Nelson, sent me this picture with the message, "What do you think?"

 

An injury like that can be as severe as any motorcycle or car crash. Likely most of the ligaments of the knee have been torn. (ACL, PCL, and either the lateral or medial collateral ligaments)

 

Usually a hyper extension injury to the knee would cause PCL tearing, but when this severe, there is likely more damage.

 

Right now, the training staff is making sure his blood flow to the leg is working and making sure any fractures are stabilized.

 

For a high level football player, this injury is often career ending or limiting despite the surgeon and player's best efforts.

 

It's horrible to see in such a talented player. Now LSU football fans will understand why Leonard Fournette wants to sit out..

 

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