NCAA March Madness is finally here and off to a disappointing start for the 97% of us who picked Iowa State to at least make it past the first round (that’s an actual CBS Sports stat). Such is life for a college basketball fan in March.
The NCAA tournament not only brings hope for my team (KU Jayhawks) but also a reflection of one of the most horrendous sports injuries caught on tape. Remember Kevin Ware, the Louisville player who broke his leg two years ago in an Elite 8 game against Duke? After a full season lost to recovery, he led his new team, Georgia State, to the NCAA tournament this year.
Open fractures (broken bones that protrude through the skin) can be very serious injuries. Not only do they cause blinding pain and threaten the future of an athlete’s sports career, they can even jeopardize one’s ability to ever walk the same and, depending on the severity of injury, may lead to amputation.
As specialists of the lower extremity, podiatrists are often on call to initially treat these injuries when the present to an ER. If the podiatric physicians at Advanced Foot Care Centers could emphasize one thing about these fractures, it would be to seek emergency care immediately. Do not try to set it yourself for risk of permanently damaging vital structures.
Risk of infection also increases each minute that goes by between the injury and initial emergency care. According to the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, six hours is the “golden period” before infection risk rises dramatically. While this has been a subject of widespread debate within the medical community, there is no doubt that your risk for all complications is dependent on how quickly you are seen by a foot and ankle surgeon.
This article is not meant to scare you from playing your favorite sport. While these can be devastating injuries with lifelong repercussion, take comfort in knowing that with prompt medical action, a good surgeon, and lots of willpower, returning to a normal life is usually quite probable. Kevin Ware is a perfect example. Call Dr. Kraus to schedule an appointment for all your sports injury needs at 423-698-1966
4308 Brainerd Rd.
Chattanooga, TN 37411