With six teams on their bye week, we were treated to only thirteen games this week. Keep that in mind while we look at week 9 by the numbers:
43 = Number of players who missed game time due to injury.
4 = Number of players placed on season-ending IR.
3.3 = Number of injuries per game.
8 = Number injuries in the Philadelphia Eagles (3) vs. Houston Texans (5) game.
Before we move on, here’s an update on Tony Romo! When we last left, Romo was diagnosed with a contusion following a hit to the back. However an MRI and CT scan determined that Romo had two fractures (bone breaks) of transverse processes in his back. We witnessed the same injury this past World Cup when Brazilian star Neymar took a blow to the back and was knocked out of the tournament. The transverse process is part of the vertebrae that stick out on the sides. They almost look like they’re trying to high five you! Thankfully, transverse process fractures are pretty innocent. The broken fragment may never reattach to the vertebrae but the possibility of the it causing damage to the nerves or the spinal cord is very low. Even though the fracture may or may not completely heal, the pain associated with it will eventually reside. The decision to return to play is usually based on the player’s pain levels and muscle spasms rather than amount of fracture healing. Romo missed week 9 but could be ready to play the next Cowboys match up which just happens to be in London, England. Good luck, gov’na!
As mentioned above, there were a whopping eight injuries in the Eagles and Texans game this past weekend. This single game accounted for nearly 20% of all injuries sustained in week 9! If you’re grimacing right now, that makes two of us. If you’re laughing right now, I have a good friend who’s a psychologist that I’d like you to see… One of these eight injuries belongs to Nick Foles, starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. Nearing end of the first quarter, Foles was sacked by a Texans linebacker and driven hard into the ground. With his shoulder receiving the brunt of impact against the turf, he headed to the locker room to be assessed by the Eagles medical team and was eventually ruled out of the game. Any guesses on the injury? If you get it right, I’ll give you one of the Halloween candies I got from trick or treating!
My favourite time of the day is nap time. My second favourite time of the day is anatomy lesson time! The shoulder girdle is a very complex area that consists of three different bones: the clavicle (collar bone), scapula (shoulder blade), and humerus (arm bone). The clavicle is every Canadian’s favourite bone because its shape resembles a hockey stick. The humerus is the stereotypical bone – long skinny body with two enlargements at either end – that everyone draws when they think of a bone. The scapula is a little more funky. It is triangular in shape but has two growths, the acromion and corocoid process, that branch from its body. All in all, these three bones make for a potentially hilarious sitcom – a Canadian, a classic tall guy, and a quirky girl go on adventures leading to mischief and endless laughter? Okay, so maybe NBC won’t pick up my pilot. But all three bones together do produce kick-ass actions like painting the fence, waxing the car, and sanding the floor. Usually when you hear people talk about the “shoulder”, they are referring to the glenohumeral joint. This is where the head of the humerus connects with the socket of the scapula creating a really cool ball-and-socket joint! So what’s up with the clavicle? Why is he involved in the shoulder discussion? Think about it like this: the clavicle is Kevin Costner (from The Bodyguard) and the glenohumeral joint is Whitney Houston. The clavicle is designed to protect your precious shoulder whenever it receives any direct impact, whether it’s from getting checked into the boards at hockey or falling out of bed while you sleep!
And that brings us back to good ol’ Nick Foles. This chap landed square on his Whitney Houston! Direct trauma to the shoulder girdle will test the integrity of the clavicle. When that trauma is greater than what the clavicle can withstand, you end up wrecking either the ligaments attaching the bone to the scapula or the bone itself. Below, you can see the difference between these injuries. The diagram on the left represents a ligament tear and the one on the right represents a clavicle fracture. In Foles’ case, his ligaments endured the sack but his poor bone cracked under pressure. Haha get it? And that is the story about how Foles ended up with a clavicular fracture!There are two ways to treat clavicular fractures. The first is conservative treatment via physio and the other is surgery. There are pros and cons to both recovery routes but the end goal is always the same: restore full function! Regardless of which path is chosen, the bone must be given time to mend itself back together. And thankfully, bones are superb healers. When broken, bones usually heal stronger than they were before! Although it might cause him to sit on the sidelines for more games, the prognosis of a fracture is always more promising than that of a ligament tear. Ligaments, unlike bones, are not famous for their healing abilities. Had Foles torn his clavicular ligaments, there is a chance that he could have long-term discomfort in his shoulder as it can take up a year for ligaments regain their former strength. Check out my post on Taylor Hall’s MCL sprain for more information on ligament healing!
A couple of days ago, the Eagles announced that Foles would not undergo surgery for his injury. The benefit of avoiding surgery is that no risk of infection (all surgeries have a small risk) and no need to remove hardware (i.e. a plate and/or screws) in the shoulder in years to come. Foles will now experience the awesomeness that is physio! The first few days after injury will be spent trying to reduce pain in his shoulder. Then it’s on to the usual progression of mobility, stability and strengthening, and skill-specific exercises! If all goes well, we should see Foles back on the field in 6-8 weeks! Good luck to good saint Nick!
– Chris (3-6)