A Super Forearm Fracture!
During the Super Bowl one of the Seattle Seahawks, Jeremy Lane, intercepted a pass then suffered a left forearm fracture while being tackled. He was flipped in the air and landed with his hand and arm outstretched toward the ground. Early reports indicate that he fractured both his ulna and his radius, the two bones that make up the forearm.
The radius and ulna help to form both elbow and wrist joints. Therefore, when Lane was suspected of fracturing both bones the athletic training staff placed him in an elongated immobilizer to prohibit movement of both the elbow and wrist. His mechanism of injury, falling on an outstretched hand, is a classic way to suffer an arm or wrist fracture. The positioning places the entire force of the fall directly through the straight and rigid arm.
Surgery is very likely imminent following a forearm fracture of this nature. An x-ray is necessary to determine the extent of break. Surgery may not be necessary if the bones are not displaced or misaligned. In that case, a brace or a cast will be needed to properly immobilize the joints while the bones heal. Surgery will involve positioning the bones back in place with metal plates/screws, a metal rod, or an external fixator. Most forearm fractures will use Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF) using the metal plate and screws for optimal placement of the bones in their normal position. Recovery from a forearm fracture can be very good if there are no issues with the bones healing.
Falling on an outstretched hand is a common instinctive reaction when an athlete loses balance. There are many possible injuries ranging from the hand to the shoulder upon impact with the ground. It is important to recognize when there is a serious injury in order to improve your chances for a full recovery. Let’s hope that if you suffer from a serious forearm injury that it is because of an amazing interception and a 14 yard return!
See the attached article for more details on signs & symptoms, treatment, and rehabilitation for forearm fractures – Forearm Fractures
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