Sports Illustrated Now: Dr. Tehrany talks about Watt’s tibial plateau fracture and Beckham’s ankle fracture

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Last week, the NFL fans witnessed several critical injuries, and unfortunately for some of the players, these injuries ended their season shortly after it began. One devastating event occurred on Sunday, October 8th during the match between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans’ superstar defensive lineman, J.J. Watt had a brutal knee injury that ended his season after only five games. He suffered a tibial plateau fracture, an injury that is rarely experienced in sports players. Another player who will also miss the rest of the season is Odell Beckham Jr. who required an urgent surgery to repair his ankle fracture suffered during the game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The alarming number of overwhelming injuries in the NFL players spiked an intense conversation about the future of the players and the future of their respective teams in the NFL. The horrifying story of the two NFL players who in one afternoon suffered severe injuries that can jeopardize their career was covered by numerous media outlets. Sports Illustrated Now, the national media giant that covers both national and international sports events, featured Dr. Armin Tehrany in their Sports Illustrated Digital Web Segment that aired on October 9th. The segment covered the latest NFL injury reports. In order to provide an in-depth analysis of Watt and Beckham’s injuries, the hosts Maggie Gray and Robin Lundberg invited Dr. Tehrany to join the conversation and be the expert voice talking about Odell Beckham and J.J. Watt’s injuries. Following is the video of the segment where Dr. Tehrany answered the questions about Watt’s tibial plateau fracture and Beckham’s ankle fracture.
Let’s start with J.J. Watt, how significant a blow is this, an injury we’ve never really heard of, most of it, not to him just short-term, but to his career going forward? Tibial plateau fractures can range from being either mild so the patient is going to be out only a few weeks, up to some needing surgery which can be season-ending. We’ll need to see the details, X-Rays, CAT scans, in order to learn more about whether or not he is going to need surgery. Of course, we are talking about J.J. Watt, but also Odell Beckham Jr, the fracture on the left ankle could need surgery. What is going to be the most difficult part of coming back from an injury like that? The problem is that based on the way the injury occurred, which is what we call an inversion injury, the surgery is going to be pretty substantial. It’s going to be good 4 to 6 months before he is ready to go back. But if the surgery goes well, he can get a full recovery. What about recovery time for J.J. Watt also? Is this something that is going to take him more than a few months? He also has a pretty extensive injury history, not just this particular area of his body, but other places. Right, good question. What will tell a lot is the CAT scan or the MRI scan to determine just how bad the fracture is and whether he needs a surgery or not. If he doesn’t need surgery, he should be able to do well overall long-term, it should be just maybe a month or two. But if this fracture requires a surgery, what matters is how much bone damage there is, and how displaced the fracture is, and how comminuted it is. Comminuted meaning how many different fragments the fracture is in. The way he planted his knee, based on the video, looks like he may be lucky and he may be alright. Just looking out broadly at the Giants, they lost their entire receiving core at one afternoon. You are a doctor, and you are watching this. As an orthopedic surgeon, you are looking at a left ankle, after left ankle, after left ankle. Does that raise an eyebrow to you? For those people who decide they want to play football, they have to accept the fact that these are the risks they have, and the bigger the guys are getting and the faster they are driving, and the harder they are getting hit, the more injuries were seen by orthopedic surgeons, no question about it.