Last year, the Denver Broncos suffered an “epidemic” of injuries that cost them many of their best players, like Ryan Clady, Von Miller, and Derek Wolfe. However, the team’s bye week last September brought them much needed hope, as Clady and Miller were on their feet and slowly but surely recovering from their foot injuries. According to the Associated Press, the team still isn’t at their best shape, but they could return to full strength before the season ends:
“It just goes to show you what kind of people they are,” coach John Fox said. “We missed them last year. Like all injuries, especially season-ending injuries, it’s a long process. And it was a really long process for them.
“I think people on the outside lose track. They don’t see all the pain and suffering that goes into one of those surgeries and those rehabs and the physical therapy and all the stuff that goes with it. It’s pretty grueling. So, it doesn’t surprise me that those guys (are doing) a great job.”
Such remarkable recovery wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for experienced practitioners of sports medicine and orthopedics in Denver, like the orthopedic surgeons of Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver. Like all athletes in full contact sports, football players risk serious injury in every game they play, and the NFL in particular is still coming up with better rules to protect its players from harm. In fact, the 2013-2014 Season saw some 1,300 injuries and about 22.3 percent of them involved the knee.
One of the most common knee injuries in sports is the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL tear, which is the one suffered by Miller. It is usually caused by changing directions rapidly while running or having a bad landing from a tall jump. Many ACL injuries are actually sprains rather than tears and can easily be treated with bracing and physical therapy. On the other hand, an ACL tear, whether it’s ‘minor’ or ‘complete’, can only be treated with surgery, and perhaps a knee replacement.
That said, this isn’t a job that’s solely relegated to an orthopedic surgeon from a Denver sports medicine facility. Once the treatments are done, rehabilitation is soon to follow and it is here where the injured players’ will and the medical experts’ competence are put to the test. Without rehab facilities, players wouldn’t know if their injuries have completely healed and if they’re truly fit for another game.
For this season, most of the Broncos are staying relatively healthy. The rest have begun their recovery, so it’s only a matter of time before they head back to the field in peak strength and high spirits.
(Source: Victims of Broncos’ 2013 injury epidemic return, USA Today, September 23, 2014)