Einstein's own sports medicine expert Rosemarie Boehm, MD, joins Ike Reese on Sportsradio 94WIP this week to discuss the most important injuries of interest to Philadelphia football fans. Going into week fifteen of the season, Dr. Boehm weighs in on what Running Back Wendell Smallwood and Offensive Lineman Matt Tobin might be experiencing as they recover from grade 2 MCL injuries. Plus, she discusses Defensive Back Jaylen Watkins's ruptured tendon and Receiver Dorial Green-Beckham's oblique injury.
Both Running Back Wendell Smallwood and Offensive Lineman Matt Tobin suffered grade 2 MCL injuries. What is an MCL sprain and why does it normally not require surgery like an ACL does?
The medical collateral ligament, or MCL, is the thick band of tissue located on the inside of the knee. It connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone), providing stability to the knee.
A grade 1 sprain is just a stretch of the ligament; a grade 2 is a greater stretch or a partial tear; and a grade 3 is a complete tear of the ligament. These ligaments rarely, if ever, require surgery as they usually scar down and heal on their own.
The ACL however – when it fully tears – will not heal on its own. When a torn ACL causes buckling and instability, it may require surgery to reconstruct it from another tissue. The MCL usually only requires rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and bracing for stability while it heals.
Defensive back Jaylen Watkins ruptured his right index finger. What happens when a tendon ruptures and what is the normal treatment for this injury?
Tendons are structures in the body that attach muscle to bones. When tendons rupture they may either pull off from the bone or tear in the substance of the tendon.
The tendons in the fingers include the flexor tendons, which allow the fingers to close, and the extensor tendons, which allow the fingers to open and straighten. The most common injury in football is to the extensor tendons at the distal end of the fingers on the nail side. When these tear the finger can’t be straightened at the tip.
These extensor tendon injuries are treated with splints to hold the finger in hyperextension, giving the tendon a chance to heal and scar down. Once the pain and swelling are controlled, the athlete – especially defensive players – potentially could play, if they are splinted well enough to protect the injury.
Receiver Dorial Green-Beckham is dealing with an oblique injury. What is the treatment required for this injury and what could be done to prevent it from re-occurring?
An oblique injury is a strain or contusion to the oblique muscles, which are the muscles in the abdomen that run from the ribs down to the hips. Theses muscles allow you to bend sideways or twist at your trunk.
In this case, Green-Beckham is dealing with an oblique contusion, which is a deep muscle bruise. This is initially treated with Rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and compression, followed by heat and massage.
As he heals and the injury becomes less painful, he can begin stretching and then strengthening – particularly core strengthening– in order to return to play and to try to prevent reoccurrence. It’s important for him to continue to warm up and down before and after workouts and games, while continuing aggressive stretching on a routine basis.
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Be sure to check back soon for next week's report. Have questions about your favorite NFL player's recovery? Post them here and our sports injury experts may be able to answer them on next week's show.