It was one of the most gruesome injuries to happen to an athlete during a sporting event. Even those of us who rubberneck on the highway to see what the accident looks like, are fighting hard to get the images of Kevin Ware’s injury out of our heads.
The Louisville point guard suffered a compound fracture to his right leg while trying to block a shot. The impact of his fall was so great it broke his bone in two places, and part of his tibia could be seen protruding through his skin.
“You knew it was bad from the moment you saw it happen,” said Robert Berry, M.D., orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano.
Dr. Berry was one of those watching television Sunday night as Ware’s Louisville team took on the Duke Blue Devils in an Elite 8 match-up.
It’s an injury he’s treated numerous times.
“One of the procedures we will do to address an injury like that, is place a titanium rod down the center of the bone and lock it with screws on the upper part of the bone and lock in the lower part of the tibia as well,” Berry said.
Recovering from a compound fracture is a long road, one that is as much psychological as it is physical, Berry says. “You have to believe that your body can support you again, that it can support the pressures that you had put on it in the past.”
He added that a bone fracture is actually easier to recover from than a torn tendon. As for what’s next for Kevin Ware, only time will tell, but Dr. Berry believes with work, he can get back to playing basketball in the future.
“I’ve taken care of numerous high school and college athletes who had similar types of injuries who have been able to move on to their sport to play.”