Comminuted open fractures and Tiger Woods’ different accidents, defined

The 45-year-old golf legend was rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Heart on Tuesday after the wreck. The hospital’s chief medical officer described his accidents and instant remedy in a press release posted to Woods’ Twitter account:

“Mr. Woods suffered vital orthopaedic accidents to his decrease proper extremity that have been handled throughout emergency surgical procedure,” Dr. Anish Mahajan mentioned.

“Comminuted open fractures affecting each the higher and decrease parts of the tibia and fibula bones have been stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia. Extra accidents to the bones of the foot and ankle have been stabilized with a mix of screws and pins.

“Trauma to the muscle and tender tissue of the leg required surgical launch of the protecting of the muscular tissues to alleviate strain because of swelling.”

This is what all which means and what may very well be subsequent for the elite athlete:

What are comminuted open fractures?

Woods’ fractures affected his proper tibia and fibula, that are the 2 lengthy bones instantly beneath the knee.

A comminuted open fracture means a bone has damaged into greater than two items and that bone has pierced the pores and skin.

“Meaning there’s an elevated threat of an infection if the fracture is not washed out shortly,” mentioned Dr. Scott Boden, chair of the Division of Orthopaedics on the Emory College College of Drugs in Atlanta.

“And it additionally means that there is a little greater likelihood that the bone will not heal within the regular time-frame.”

What does ‘surgical launch of the protecting of the muscular tissues’ imply?

“What which means is that they really made an incision by the muscular tissues to open up that space in order that actually the blood, or the fluid, had a spot to go apart from to chop off circulation,” defined Dr. Jeremy Faust, an emergency doctor at Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital in Boston.

Consider a blood vessel as a straw. In the event you flatten the straw, nothing can get by.

“So what occurs on this scenario is basically your blood vessels are getting collapsed due to the strain from round it,” Faust mentioned.

“So this process, which is known as a fasciotomy, has one factor in thoughts. And that’s to make it in order that strain is relieved in order that blood circulation can proceed — in order that you do not have everlasting nerve injury and in order that you do not have precise dying of extra tissue.”

With out remedy, Woods might need been prone to amputation

Mahajan’s assertion suggests Woods might have been prone to amputation had docs not acted shortly, Faust mentioned.

“The surgeons probably believed that if they didn’t carry out a type of procedures to launch that strain, they really have been fearful that he may lose the limb, that amputation might need been essential,” Faust mentioned.

He praised the medical workforce for attempting to forestall “compartment syndrome, which signifies that the strain has constructed up a lot that truly blood circulation is being compromised.”

“By way of really ensuring that he has a limb that truly has circulation, they actually did the correct factor,” Faust mentioned.

The SUV Tiger Woods was driving rolled over multiple times.

Did Woods undergo any head accidents?

Primarily based on the hospital’s assertion, it does not seem Woods had any accidents to his head, torso or chest, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta mentioned.

Shortly after the crash Tuesday morning, “he was capable of talk, and he was acutely aware,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva mentioned.

Authorities mentioned Woods was sporting his seat belt, and his airbag deployed correctly.

What’s subsequent for Woods medically?

Days before his crash, Woods was  teaching golf to movie and sports stars

“It is going to be an extended street for Mr. Woods,” Faust mentioned.

“Proper now, it is unclear to me whether or not he’ll really be going again to the working room very quickly or not due to the way in which they did these procedures. It is probably an open wound nonetheless. So they really wish to have the leg open so the strain doesn’t construct up once more.”

Faust suspects Woods will probably have a grafting process sooner or later to shut the wound.

Then “the street to restoration actually begins,” he mentioned. However “we’re not even actually there but.”

What does this imply for his golf profession?

“It is simply too speculative,” Gupta mentioned.

“We all know Tiger Woods is the sort of man that underwent 5 again operations — vital operations, together with a fusion — and got here again and had this exceptional return to golf. So who is aware of?”

“For an elite athlete like Tiger,” Boden mentioned, “he is received nearly as good an opportunity (of) getting back from this as anyone does.”

“And we all know by no means to rely Tiger out from a restoration.”

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