Wow of the Week: Kevin Ware’s gruesome injury, apparently, happens “all the time”

It was the snap seen around the world, but for the surgeons who operated on Kevin Ware, it was pretty much business as usual.

Don’t worry, I won’t post the nauseating video of the University of Louisville basketball player’s right tibia buckling and protruding through his skin during Sunday’s game. But I will show this photo of him upright and walking with crutches posted on his Twitter less than 48 hours later.


Numerous orthopedic surgeons were quoted this week saying that the awful-looking injury wasn’t career-ending. In fact, they say, Ware could recover in six months to a year. He’s expected to be with the team in Atlanta this weekend for the Final Four.

“The injury just looked really dramatic on high-def television, but we see these kinds of injuries all the time in our practice,” Fred Azar, a team doctor for the Memphis Grizzlies, told USA Today. “It was a compound fracture, and they all heal really well.”

And Ware didn’t need a particularly high-tech, cutting edge treatment, either. The tibia is the most commonly fractured long bone in the body, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The surgery performed on Sunday night was reportedly a two-hour procedure at an Indianapolis hospital where surgeons cleaned the wound, reset the bone and inserted a rod to act as an internal splint for the tibia.

However, because the fracture pierced the skin and caused an open would, Ware was at increased risk for infection and likely received a hefty dose of antibiotics. Doctors also likely had to check for damage to surrounding soft tissue, nerves and blood vessels.

He’ll probably be using crutches and wearing a boot for awhile, but apparently that’s a lot better than what people were expecting. Josh Elliott of ABC News called it “nothing short of stunning” to see him walking around, and the Twitterverse agreed.


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