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 two of the season, Dr. Boehm weighs in on the possible consequences of Zach Ertz's rib displacement and Leodis McKelvin's pulled hamstring.
What is a 'rib displacement' and how long does it take to recover? What does it mean for Zach Ertz?
A rib displacement is a partial or full disruption of the rib away from its connecting joint, causing one end of the rib to slip out of its socket or attachment.
In the case of Zack Ertz, the first rib was dislodged from its normal position, causing it to pull away from the breastbone, or sternum, and displacing under his collarbone. Most times, and in this case, the injury causes the rib to displace superior and outward which is safer than the much more uncommon posterior displacement which can cause immediate damage to underlying structures and is an emergency.
Rib displacement is a very painful injury, causing severe pain at the initial injury and even more pain over next few days. If the rib is only slightly out of place, it will be treated with rest and pain medication. If it is significantly dislocated, they can try to reduce it or manipulate it to get it back in place. Either way, the ligaments and tissue that was disrupted will heal and scar down in place.
This injury will not heal quickly but it will heal, sometimes six weeks minimal. Complications are rare but if Ertz returns to play before healed and takes another hit to that area, it could cause damage to the underlying structures, such as large blood vessels, and nerves. Because of the severity of this complication, he will be listed as week-to-week and watched closely for safe return to play.
Leodis McKelvin pulled his hamstring last week. Given that you could reinjure a hamstring just by testing it out, how hard is it to get healthy during the season?
A pulled hamstring is an injury to one or more of the muscles at the back of the thigh. These muscles allow you to bend your leg at your knee. The injury happens when the muscle is overloaded and stretched beyond its capacity. It is a common injury in running, sprinting, cutting and quick movements in sports and is usually a non-contact injury.
Some risks for the injury in athletes are muscle tightness, muscle imbalance, muscle fatigue, poor conditioning, poor or incomplete warm-ups and stretching, but even happens frequently in well conditioned professional athletes, like the left hamstring injury sustained by Eagles player Leodis McKelvin during Sunday’s game.
These injuries tend to heal slowly and are very high risk for recurrence or re-injury, even while trying to rehab and prepare for return to play. Quite often there are setbacks even with proper rest and rehab. If re-injury continues to occur, scaring could eventually take place and cause increased problem.
Prevention of re-injury is dependent upon successful completion of a rehab program and continued aggressive warm up and stretching throughout the season. Functional activities should be attempted and completed before return to play. Realistic return to play could be anywhere from three weeks to six months, and often players will continue to struggle with re-injury during the season. So while this may be a simple injury, it can be a nagging problem throughout the season.
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.