USA Today's For the Win, "Derrick Rose's latest injury, explained by an orthopaedic surgeon"
By Nina Mandell
Derrick Rose was sustained a left orbital fracture after getting elbowed by a teammate in his first practice, leaving Chicago fans to wonder two things: 1. Is the world coming to an end again? and 2. What exactly is an orbital fracture?
“It obviously means downtime for Derrick Rose. He’s going to be in a fair amount of pain until he has the surgery,” said Dr. Barry Boden, orthopaedic surgeon with The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics – The Orthopaedic Center Division, noting that he had not personally seen Rose or his injury. “There’s going to be some post-operative pain. It is a treatable injury … It sounds like he’s going to be having surgery to repair the bone and that way you can stabilize it, you can also rehabilitate it faster.”
Rose is expected to be out for up to six weeks, according to Boden’s estimates, and when he comes back he’ll have to wear a face mask to protect the newly repaired bone. The Bulls told reporters that a timetable will be established for the guard’s return after the surgery.
So what is an orbital fracture?
“Those are the bones that help support the eyeball, so it’s the eye socket. So he got elbowed in the face with enough force that he broke those bones.”
Is it preventable?
“What’s interesting is that I’m working with the NCAA and a high school database and we’re reviewing all of the eye injuries over the last 10 years and it turns out that basketball is the sport with the highest incidence of injuries.
Basketball’s also one of the sports where eye shields and eye protections are optional, but every time you hear about one of these injuries, it makes you think maybe more people should be wearing eye protection. It’s all a matter of taking a chance and the odds are low, but if you do get hit you could have a serious injury.”
What’s his prognosis?
“The prognosis with these orbital fractures is good, as long as he doesn’t have any complications, he’ll heal back. But when you have an injury like this you’re going to be a little hesitant at first. He’s going to have to wear a face mask shield and he’s going to have to get used to that because sometimes that can throw off your coordination a bit.”
So when you say complications …
Hopefully he won’t have any complications, but anytime you do surgery there’s always a small risk of infection, there’s always a risk the bone doesn’t heal, there’s always a risk if they put a plate in there will be a problem with the plate. There’s always a risk when you’re doing surgery in that area that a nerve can be injured. Or even the eye could be injured. But I’m sure he’s going to a very competent surgeon and those risks are low, but they’re not non-existent.
Is there something about Rose that made him more susceptible to this injury?
“This is just a pure freak injury, just unlucky. It’s not the individual as much as it is the sport.”