NY Jets Jim Leonhard Season Over
The NY Jets are one of the best NFL teams this year. Unfortunately, the team will need to play the rest of the season without starting safety, Jim Leonhard, who broke his tibia today. He was scheduled to undergo surgery today.
From the knee to the ankle run two bones: the tibia and the fibula. The tibia is the larger of the two and lives on the inner part of the leg.
The most common causes of tibia fractures are falls, trauma, and motor vehicle accidents. A tremendous amount of energy is required to break the tibia.
Athletes with tibia fractures will experience sudden pain, swelling, difficulty walking, the inability to walk, and sometimes so much swelling that a compartment syndrome develops.
On rare occasions, the tibia can be treated without surgery. However, surgery is usually required for these patients. With surgery, patients are able to recover faster and walk sooner. There are a variety of different implants that can be used for the surgery, from plates and screws to rods that are placed into the center of the bone.
WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL CARE
If you suspect that you have a tibia fracture, you should seek medical care immediately. A good physical exam and x-rays are needed to evaluate the leg.
RETURN TO ACTIVITIES/OUTCOMES
Regardless of hardware used, individuals require extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation. Running activities begin around 2-3 months after surgery.
For a video animation of “Tibial Fractures”, please see the “Education” tab of my website. Click orthopaedics, then knee, then conditions, then “Tibial Fractures”.
It is highly unlikely for Leonhard to return this season, even if the Jets make it to the Superbowl.
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