Friday, November 21, 2008

THE ANATOMY OF A KNEE SPRAIN

It's never easy watching a player go down with an injury but it certainly hurts more when you've had it happen to you. Last December, I was reffing a game and had a similar motion of my left leg, where my left skate toe-picked into the ice and turned the knee out. I felt a very sharp pain and basically my left leg became a useless piece of dead weight hanging off of my body. If you happen to think the Nielsen will be back anytime soon, think again. His recovery time might be between 6 weeks and 3 months. If the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is torn, which in this case most likely happened it will require surgery and will be closer to the maximum of 3 months.

The basics of a ligament tear in your knee usually begins with a very violent twisting or hyper-extending motion that is unnatural for the knee to endure. The resulting pressures that are exerted on the ligaments holding the two major leg bones together can stretch, tear, rupture or completely sever the tissue. I know that might be graphic but that is the truth. The problem with a knee ligament tear is the inability to utilize the leg as a whole, i.e. it's is nearly impossible to put any weight on the injured leg. Hopefully for Franzie it's not as bad as it looked.
As I'm listening to Billy Jaffe and Howie Rose talk about the hit as the game nears an end, it almost certainly should be looked at by the league as a high hit. Mike Mottau led with the butt-end of his stick and hands causing an injury to Frans Nielsen. I will be very disappointed in the league if Mottau receives less than 5 games. In fact, if the NHL wants to send a message against high hits, 10 games sounds like a better option.

This is a huge blow to the Islanders as Nielsen was bringing his game up over the past several weeks and quite correctly Billy Jaffe remarked that Franzie's speed is an asset that it will take time to get back. Hopefully, he will have a speedy recovery and the Isles will have him back in the lineup as soon as possible. It's a really disappointing way to finish a game.

Photo courtesy of Best Bucs Blog
For Questions, Comments or Bonehead Calls e-mail me at DougD84@optonline.net.

1 comment:

Katie D said...

While your mechanism of injury is correct, I felt it necessary to respond to your statement that a torn ACL results in it being "nearly impossible to put any weight on the injured leg." In actuality, the opposite is far more common. The majority of people who sustain ruptures of the ACL can fully weight bear given that the ACL is assisted by the patellar tendon (the one that holds your kneecap) in preventing the forward movement of the shin bone. While the ACL is a major stabilizer of the knee joint, the primary instabilities associated with this injury are seen in cutting and pivoting activities. Outside of high level athletes, many ACL injuries are not even repaired surgically due to the much lower demands the average person puts on his/her knee joint. If any of your readers do sustain this kind of injury, I don't want them to misdiagnose themselves by assuming that they won't be able to stand on a leg with a ruptured ACL.