Will Blake Bortles miss Week 6 with an AC Sprain?

Fantasy Football Injury of the Week:  How bad is Blake Bortles Grade I AC Sprain?

Blake Bortles has not typically been on the radar of many fantasy players since he joined the league in 2014.  However in 2015 he has had a sneaky good start to the season despite Jacksonville’s 1-4 record.  In my Yahoo league, he is currently the 7th best QB.  He has better numbers this year than our very own Peyton Manning (by a longshot) and fantasy studs like Drew Brees and Matt Ryan.

Unfortunately, Bortles may suffer a bit of a setback if he is forced to miss Week 6 against Houston.  Bortles suffered a Grade/Type 1 acromioclavicular (AC) joint sprain of his throwing shoulder at some point during Jacksonville’s week 5 loss to the Buccaneers.  Anytime a quarterback sustains an injury to the throwing shoulder it can be a scary situation.  Fortunately for Bortles, a grade one AC sprain leaves us optimistic that he will be able to play this week and here’s why.

What’s the difference between Grade 1, 2, and 3 AC Sprains?

An AC sprain is typically graded in its severity from a one to a three.  It easy to visualize the severity of an AC sprain in the graphic below:

ACJointSeperation-pic2©

A grade/type 1 sprain is mild or partial injury to the joint ligaments or capsule.  In this grade there is a slight tear or sprain of the acromioclavicular ligament.  This ligament helps to stabilize the AC joint and ultimately the shoulder itself.  Bortles likely will rest the shoulder this week and participate in physical therapy everyday to retain his range of motion, strength, and help control the pain with modalities like the Gameready ice machine:

File_000(note: this is not Blake Bortles)

A grade/type 2 sprain is a more significant tear of the acromioclavicular ligament as well the ligament below the clavicle called the coracoclavicular ligament.  

A grade/type 3 sprain is a severe injury to the shoulder.  In this situation, both acromioclavicular and coracoclavicular ligaments are completely torn.  The shoulder is very unstable and an athlete will often choose to have surgery to stabilize the joint by placing a screw or looped suture into the collar bone to anchor it back down.  This grade of injury will mean the player misses weeks or months of their sport.

So What’s the Prognosis?

Fortunately for Bortles he has been diagnosed with the most mild form of an AC sprain, a grade one.  Early in the week his shoulder probably felt sore and a little weak or unstable  He may have had some difficulty reaching overhead or across his body and lifting activities might have been uncomfortable.  Kinesiotaping can be helpful in giving stability and pain relief during this phase of recovery.

 

With daily physical therapy rehab, Bortles’ symptoms will likely improve significantly or resolve completely by Sunday.  

Prediction: Blake Bortles is able to play in Week 6 against Houston

 

Injury Revisited: Dez Bryant, Jones Fracture

With no high-profile injuries to players at skilled positions this week, we bring you an update on the status and likely return to play for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.  Dez suffered a right 5th metatarsal fracture, commonly referred to as a Jones fracture, during the Cowboys’ week 1 win over the New York Giants (video and more information here).

jones-fracture

Jones fracture (not Dez Bryant’s)

The base of the 5th metatarsal can be a particularly difficult bone to heal.  This is due to the area’s poor blood supply as well as the huge amount of force transmitted through the area, especially with running, jumping and cutting.  The day after the injury he underwent a surgical procedure that was reported to include internal fixation with hardware as well as a bone graft.  Given current surgical procedures, the graft was most likely a marrow aspirate with demineralized bone matrix injected at the fracture site.  This is essentially used to speed up healing and increase the likelihood that the fracture with heal completely.  In most cases, a bone graft is used when a fracture has been recurrent or chronic in nature.  However, it is very likely that they are treating this as aggressively as possible to allow for the quickest return to play possible. 

 

jonesrepair

Jones Fracture Repair (Not Dez Bryant’s)

A recently published study followed 25 NFL players from their surgery through return to play.  The study found that 100% of players returned to full participation and 12% of them ultimately refractured their 5th metatarsal and required a revision surgery.  The time from surgery to return to play was between 6 and 14 weeks, with the average being 8.7 weeks.  

Dez is undoubtedly receiving excellent care as he rehabilitates this injury.  He is likely undergoing joint mobilization, stretching, strengthening, stability and balance training and quite possibly trigger point dry needling in an effort to regain range of motion and full function.  

Given recent data on Jones fractures amongst NFL players, along with the demands put on the foot of a wide receiver such as Dez Bryant,  The Therapydia PTs believe this will be a fairly lengthy recovery.  

Prediction: Dez Bryant misses just over 10 weeks and returns to face the Carolina Panthers on Thursday, November 26th.  

 

Prevent Winter Sports Injuries With FMS and Never Miss a Powder Day

FMS denver

One of the main reasons so many people who love to ski, snowshoe and ice skate move to Colorado is for our amazing winters. These winter sports are thrilling, relaxing and everything in between, but lower body muscle weakness, balance issues on slippery surfaces and poor flexibility can cause injuries and most commonly we tend to see a significant number of knee and shoulder injuries. Treatment for these injuries tends to be costly both from a financial and time perspective. It is not unusual for someone to miss the entire winter sports season from one injury, but these injuries can be prevented. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) can help those who are at risk of injury know what their weaknesses are to improve them.

Functional Movement Screen 101

FMS was developed in 1995 by physical therapist Gray Cook and his colleague Dr Lee Burton, a certified athletic trainer with a doctorate in health performance and wellness. The screen looks at 7 integral human movement patterns to identify dysfunctions or imbalances between right and left side of the body. Weakness, asymmetry and limited flexibility of muscles are common sources of musculoskeletal injury. Each of these seven movements are graded on a 0-3 scale with 0 indicating pain during the movement and 3 being a normal/non-dysfunctional movement pattern. The highest score you can get is 21, and the key benchmark is 14. Some examples of the movements are shown below.

FMS Therapydia Denver functional movement screen denver  

14 or Below Scorers Are 50% More Likely To Be Injured

Several studies have shown that if a person scores 14 or lower, they have a 50% higher chance of suffering an injury. One study looked at 38 female collegiate athletes at the start of their fall or winter sport and found that 69% of the athletes that scored 14 or less suffered an injury during the season. A 2nd study looked at an entire professional football team and again 14 was the magic number that indicated who was most likely to get injured during their season. The likelihood increased from a pre-test probability of injury of 15% to just over 50% when the player scored 14 or less .

Taking Action Based On Your FMS Results

A big reason why we like to use the FMS is because they have a software program that let’s us tailor a specific home exercise program that is individualized to you based on your specific score and movement dysfunctions. You will be emailed directly with your results along with descriptive pictures and videos of each exercise.

FMS results

Most FMS clients make a one-on-one physical therapy appointment to review the exercises and address any pain or dysfunction that was encountered during the FMS. Our PTs use the information from FMS, along with a PT evaluation, to create a custom workout that is specific to your winter sport. Schedule your FMS appointment today to stop injuries before they can happen!