Leg Injury At Its Worst
A leg injury comes in many forms. These are the types of leg injuries an AT (Athletic Trainer) might run into.
Getting ready to head into the New Year of 2014, I was thinking of goals. I know people try to set and achieve goals for the New Year, and it got me thinking of some of the goals I have set with my athletes at Henry Sibley. As an Athletic Trainer I come across many different injuries, and goal setting for return to activity is a major part of my job. Some injuries are pretty common; ankle sprains, ACL tears, concussions, etc. Some injuries you come across that you don’t know if you’ll see something similar ever again. Having goals for athletes is one of the only things that gives them hope for returning. Little victories are necessary for the recovery process (mentally and physically), and when you get to see the joy of an athlete returning it makes any frustrations along the way worth every minute spent.
This post is about one of my football players that I got to work closely with after your “not so average” injury. 2-A-Days for football can be rough, with a lot of injuries. It seems like the busiest time of the year for me and I get to build relationships with a lot of the kids when they get hurt, since the road to recovery can take some time. We had gotten through the camp with minor bumps and bruises and I was looking forward to my first weekend off before the season got really crazy with games. When I got back to practice on Monday I noticed one of the players that I usually talk to daily wasn’t at practice. I asked around and I got all sorts of tales on what happened to him over the weekend. I decided that since most of the time high schoolers fabricate everything they hear that I better ask him directly.
Looking at the picture I was sure he was attacked by a shark (and thats exactly what he likes to tell people). Although it was a water related injury, its not what you think.
When he got to school he told me that to cool off from the heat of the summer, and to relax a little after 2-A-Days, he spent the day at his grandmas pool. He was doing some very impressive diving board tricks and caught his shin just right on the edge of the board. The rest was a blur of his sister “freaking out” and a pool of red. He needed 24 stitches with a section left open for “leakage”. He also chipped his Head of his Tibia and needed to be on crutches for 3 as well as wound care duty daily.
He and I spent quite a bit of time and frustration trying to get that thing to heal (seen below) and finally we got the thing to scab over. We set small exercise goals to try to achieve, and although the football season didn’t happen for him that year we got him ready for his winter sport, which believe it or not was diving. I don’t know how he was ever brave enough to get back on the board but he did and he finished the season strong.
Although this wasn’t your typical “ankle sprain” injury, with rehab protocol you could do in your sleep as an ATC, I enjoyed the challenge of something new. It’s never something we wish for when an athlete gets injured, but I did enjoy getting to know this athlete through the time we spent together. Setting goals for his return to activity was what powered him through, and his hard work in the athletic training room and the weight room paid off in the end. Although he still bears the scar (as seen at top of this post) from a crazy diving accident, his hard work was what got him to jump back into the water.
If you have an injury and are looking for some help getting back 100% feel free to reach out and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Physical therapy can make all the difference in the world.