Podiatrist - New Iberia
1100 Andre Street Suite 202
New Iberia, LA 70563
P (337)  256-8494
F (337) 256-8945

 

 

March Madness had millions glued to the television for the Louisville VS. Duke game in the Midwest Regional Finals, but regardless of your bracket, I think all our hearts went out to Louisville’s guard Kevin Ware after he experienced a gruesome compound fracture. Compound fractures, or open fractures, are breaks that result in the bone being exposed to the environment, which is considered a medical emergency that needs to be treated immediately. Bone that is exposed to the open air is at very high risk for serious infections that can lead to necrosis, which is death of the tissue, causing the bone and tissue surrounding it to become non-functional. When Ware jumped up to block a 3-point shot, he landed awkwardly, causing his leg to torque at almost a 90 degree angle leading to a dramatic break, producing inches of bone protruding through the skin. His team, horrified at the sight, were forced to cover their eyes and back away, while some were brought to tears, demonstrating their obvious affection for their fallen teammate. Ware, in his spirited attempt to get this teammates focused on the game, called them over to him for a pep talk, causing the crowd to applaud in his devotion and positive outlook.

Does this mean we should be on our guard when we play sports?! There is a certain amount of suspicion associated with Ware’s injury. It’s rather rare for a young, healthy, active individual to experience such a severe fracture during routine play, causing some physicians to question if Ware had an underlying condition causing weakening of the bone or a cyst at the fracture site. Although human bone can be as strong as steel when forces are applied vertically, it has much less strength when exposed to rotational forces, causing most to agree that the torque of the landing was too great for the bone to handle, and thus being the main cause of the break.

Thanks to the speedy reaction of the medical team, Ware received immediate medical attention, and after a two hour surgery involving some rods and screws, he is expected to make a full recovery and return to basketball. I’m sure even Duke fans can admit that Ware cradling the Midwest Regional Championship trophy, which was won that night after his pep talk, was well deserved.

If you ever experience a sports injury, be sure to set up an appointment with Dr. Purdy at the Foot Clinic so you can get back on your feet, and back into the game as soon as possible!

Jon Purdy, DPM

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