This week has seen injuries affect the Dallas Cowboys linebackers. Let’s delve into these injuries, and see what it means more both player and team as the season progresses.
LVE and his collarbone injury
Cowboys starting middle linebacker Leighton Vanderesch suffered another injury setback during the Sunday night loss to the Los Angeles Rams. During which he suffered a broken collarbone.
Although clean collarbone, or clavicles to give them their medical name, fractures are often left to heal on their own with simple immobilisation, treatment is different for sports stars such as Vandersch.
He is likely to undergo an Open Reduction, Internal Fixation (ORIF) procedure. In which the fracture is ‘reduced’ – meaning it is brought as close to normal alignment as possible. Then fixed in place with a metal plate and screws, as below
Normally this type of procedure should see Vanderesch return to the field anywhere between Week 7 and Week 10.
Sean Lee’s Sports Hernia
There was some hope amongst Cowboys fans that veteran linebacker Sean Lee could step into the breach to cover for Van dear Esch. However it was revealed this week that oft-forgotten Linebacker Lee has undergone surgery for a sports hernia.
Sports hernia are common injuries amongst elite athletes. And we often hear about players suffering from ‘a hernia’ year upon year. So what exactly is a sports hernia?
Sports hernia are not the traditional hernia most people know about. Traditional hernia occur when a weakness occurs in a muscle or surrounding tissue wall, and an internal ‘part’ pushes through this gap. These are most commonly seen in the groin area, where fat and at times bowel can push through the gap.
Sports hernia are different, and in fact can have no hernia component at all. Usually beginning with pain in the lower abdomen and groin, Sports hernia usually get progressively worse with time. Any of the soft tissues of the groin and lower abdomen may be affected.
Symptoms can be managed initially with rest, anti-inflammatory drugs and physiotherapist assistance. But when there is evidence of a tear in a muscle/tendon, or symptoms don’t resolve, the only option remains surgery to correct the underlying issue.
After surgery, studies have shown that anywhere from 65% to 90% of athletes can return to their chosen sport. Recovery can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks. So Cowboys fans may well see Lee take the field before the end of the 2020 season.
Other injuries of note
This week also sees further season ending injries. For Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin (torn ACL) and Colts RB Marlon Mack (torn achilles tendon)
Chris Godwin, The Bucs receiver, also enters the concussion protocol – something we will cover in the coming weeks
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