Einstein's own sports medicine expert Brett Sweitzer, MD, joins Ike Reese on Sportsradio 94WIP this week to discuss the most important injuries of interest to Philadelphia football fans. Going into week three of the season, Dr. Sweitzer weighs in on the possible consequences of Michael Kendricks's broken nose and kicker Caleb Sturgis's cramping. Plus, he discusses how suspended players, like Lane Johnson, can keep up their fitness level without even practicing with the team.Michael Kendricks broke his nose, aside from the pain, what other affect could that injury have on him when he’s playing.
As you mentioned, a broken nose is definitely painful. If you’ve ever been hit or knocked in the nose, you know it’s disorienting. He was probably seeing stars for a little while, but I expect he’s doing quite a bit better now that the initial swelling and pain are settling down. If swelling and bruising are severe, and extend to the eyes, vision can be an issue initially, but I don’t foresee that being an issue in Kendricks’ situation. Certainly, I wouldn’t expect any long term effects in terms of vision. Breathing and endurance could be a minor issue for him, though. Besides the break itself restricting air movement, swelling in the surrounding soft tissues inside of and behind the nose can make breathing comfortably more difficult for a few weeks. Again, I don’t’ see this as a long-term problem as long as the medical staff can keep the swelling and discomfort to a minimum.
Kicker Caleb Sturgis had some problems with cramping last week. Is there anything else a player can do, besides hydration, to help that?
Yes, he looked extremely uncomfortable last week. I was concerned that he had strained his hamstring or had some other significant hip injury, so it’s a relief to hear that he was just dealing with cramping. With that being said, cramps obviously can be a problem if not dealt with properly. Drinking plenty of fluids is certainly part of the solution. He’ll be trying to stay well-hydrated throughout this entire week. In addition to fluids, the athletic trainers will also be making sure he is getting the proper balance of salt and other electrolytes in his diet. Caleb will also be doing a lot of stretching to keep the muscle loose. On game day, he’ll need to make sure he gets blood flowing to the muscles with a good warm-up, perhaps riding the stationary bike, and making sure he gets in enough warm-up kicks before going onto the field. Taping or wrapping the muscle can also help in this situation by both supporting the muscle and also promoting blood flow to the area. With these treatments all week, I expect we’ll see a much better performance from Sturgis against the Steelers.
Lane Johnson may miss an extended period of time due to a suspension. He won’t even be able to practice with the team. Is there any way to possibly keep up his fitness level without playing actual football?
Well, that’s certainly going to be a challenge. I suppose the silver-lining, if that happens, is that he won’t be getting beat-up throughout the season, so he should be perfectly healthy when he returns. My suggestion to him would be to get himself in a daily and weekly routine that mimics his current routine as much as possible. In terms of fitness, he’ll be spending a lot of time in the weight room and on the field, just not at the Eagles’ facility. The medical and training staff will prescribe detailed workouts that he’ll need to follow on his own, similar to what they do in the off-season. He shouldn’t have any problems maintaining the physical strength, endurance and agility levels needed to play, but I would be a little concerned about maintaining the mental components with a prolonged absence from the team.
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.