3 Pros Who Got Injured This Season in Football & Basketball

No one is immune from an orthopedic injury. They happen to everyone, no matter where someone lies on the spectrum of novice to elite athlete. Below are 3 names you may recognize that suffered severe orthopedic injuries recently.

Kevin Durant, MCL Sprain

The first name you may recognize is Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets. Earlier this month, he sprained his right MCL in a game during a collision with a member of his opposing team. The MCL is in the knee, it’s called the medial collateral ligament. It exists on the inner side of the knee connecting the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (lower leg bone). Its function is to stabilize the knee and primarily prevent valgus stresses. A valgus stress on the knee is a blow to the outside of the knee and forces it inward. The MCL also protects against rotational forces, but not as much.

When those forces override the strength of the ligament, it will sprain or tear. Even in professional athletes. And guess what? This is his second MCL sprain in a year. Last year in the same month, he sprained the MCL of his other knee.

He will be out for at least a few weeks because of this injury. Human beings need rest and downtime to recover from an injury and there is no shame in that.

Matt Waletzko, Shoulder Subluxation

Let’s switch to football, where shoulder injuries are fairly common. Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle learned this firsthand this year. And this is not his first time receiving this lesson, it’s his third. Three times in 2022 he has subluxed his left shoulder, the latest in October.

A shoulder subluxation is a step before complete dislocation. The bones are still in their proper places, they have not fully dislocated, but the ligaments holding the shoulder together have been severely stretched. They are very lax and no longer provide proper support to the shoulder.

Third time’s a charm, right? He had surgery for this recurring condition and will be out for the rest of the season.

Deebo Samuel, Ankle Sprain

Samuel Deebo of the San Francisco 49ers has an impressive injury history. One of his more recent injuries from December is a high ankle sprain. There are two types of ankle sprains, high and low. Unfortunately, he suffered the more extreme of the two.

What everyone thinks when they hear ‘ankle sprain’ is a low one. This means that a ligament connecting the very bottom of the lower leg bone to the foot is overstretched and no longer able to provide support. A high ankle sprain is...higher. It involves the overstretching of the ligament that connects the bottom of the two bones in the lower leg, the tibia and fibula. High ankle sprains generally have a worse prognosis.

Thankfully, he avoided a very serious injury and is already back on the field.

Contact us

Injuries happen to us all. You can’t avoid an orthopedic injury or two, or many more throughout your lifetime. If you do suffer an injury, know that we’ve all been there, and this is why we will treat you with the utmost empathy and sensitivity. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Burke Orthopedics by calling (713) 436-3488.

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