The fibula is the splint bone on the outside of the lower leg, there are two types of breaks, the first being an open fracture which means the bone has ruptured the skin. A closed fracture does not rupture the skin and also a closed fracture is often treated by fitting a removable plastic cast. Healing time should be about 12 to 16 weeks.
Unfortunately in Eduardo’s case he suffered an open fracture caused by force so his bones were splintered and ragged. Surgical fixing of the leg is then needed, which involves a large nail being inserted down the bone and then fixed together with plates and screws. This method improves recovery time and reduces muscle wastage due to immobilisation.
Prompt medical attention limited the damage caused to Eduardo’s fibula. During an operation his fractured fibula was held together by pins. After the operation he required a leg cast. Before the leg cast was removed he was not allowed to put any weight on the injury so had to use crutches and have regular x-rays to check the pins and fusion of the bones. After the leg cast was removed he required intense physiotherapy to recover fully, due to the extent of his injury he was not able to play football for over a year. The wearing of shin pads reduces damage unless force is applied to the side of the leg as in this case.
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This is a traumatic brain injury which causes confusion, reflexes, speech and sleeping patterns. Movement of the brain from a heavy blow can cause concussion or unconsciousness such as blows to the head when boxing. The symptoms could be nausea, unequal pupils, headache, drowsiness and memory loss although there are sometimes no symptoms and no awareness of having concussion.
Treatment would be in hospital if there is any suspected brain damage or bleeding to the brain such as in boxing. Mild concussions can be treated with rest and pain killers to treat headaches. Recovery can take between a few days to months.
After American boxer Leander Johnson died from sustained punches to the head during a boxing match anti boxing organisations called for a ban on boxing. Leander died in hospital from injuries caused to his brain. Neurological scientists estimate that15-40 per cent of ex boxers have some form of chromic brain injury mostly caused from repeated concussions.
Muscle strain (hamstring)
A hamstring injury is a common strain in sport, it is also known as a ‘pulled hamstring’. The hamstring muscles are located in the upper leg, there are three muscles known as semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris.
Depending on severity it would be a first, second or third degree strain and is caused by overstretching the muscle causing it to tear. Treatment would be rest, ice and elevation called the RICE protocol. Symptoms are a sudden sharp pain and you would also sustain pain when stretching or contracting the muscle.
The hamstring can be damaged in most sporting activities such as running, cycling and football. To prevent a hamstring injury it is essential for an athlete to warm up correctly. Age, tiredness and previous injuries all increase the risk of injury.
Many footballers experience hamstring injuries such as Shay Given who was injured recently. The recovery time for such an injury varies greatly depending on the severity; it could be anything from a few days to many months.
Bruising can be sustained in almost any sport; a bruise is caused by vascular leakage of red blood cells into tissue. (Bleeding beneath the skin) this causes discolouration on the surface of the skin. The bruise changes colour as it heals such as brown and yellow, some creams (which contain vitamin K) can speed up healing. Bruises would not interfere with sporting activity unless they extend to a large area such as a whole leg. They are usually painful to touch and can be swollen but usually heal very quickly. Applying cold packs or ice to area aids with healing and pain. The World champion judo fighter, Mike Swain has sustained many bruises during his career, as do many judo fighters. The bruising has never interfered with him being able to partake in a judo match.
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