Joba Chamberlain returns to Yankees after ankle injury

7 Aug

Monday night was the second night of Joba Chamberlain’s return to the mound for the New York Yankees after more than a year away from the game.

joba chamberlain ny yankees

You’ll recall that last June, Chamberlain suffered a possible career ending torn ligament in his elbow which required the every-pitcher-dreads-it Tommy John surgery. Then, in March of this year, as he was only one month shy of returning to the lineup, he dislocated his ankle while playing with his son on a trampoline. It was an ugly dislocation, too – the bone broke right through the skin and Joba required surgery and physical rehab to correct it.

Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain dislocates ankle, loses life-threatening amount of blood, 2012 season and career may be over– New York Daily News, March 24, 2012

What happens when your ankle becomes dislocatedankle illustration

Three bones make up the ankle: the fibula (outer), the tibia(inner) and the talus(center). All three are held together by just one ligament, the syndesmosis. When the ankle becomes dislocated, the talus separates from what we call the “socket”, and when it comes out, there’s a good chance it will also rip the skin open, which is known as an open dislocation. This is what happened to Chamberlain. Along with opening the skin, the dislocation can also fracture or break the bones around the ankle, tear the tendons, and damage the ankle joint or the subtalar joint, which allows the foot to move in and out. It can become a big mess pretty quickly.

ankle dislocated xray

X-Ray of a dislocated ankle

Chamberlain was rushed to surgery for the open dislocation and stayed off his feet for 8 weeks, allowing the ankle and the skin around it to heal. At a physical rehab center in Tampa, he spent 8 more weeks working out, stretching, resting and healing. By July, he was pitching in minor league games to get his mojo back and to strengthen his elbow and ankle. That is an incredibly fast return from such a severe injury, considering that his Doctors were very doubtful if he would ever pitch again, much less this season, according to their statements after his ankle surgery. Yet here he is, getting back to his almost 100 mph fastball just a little over four months later. The guy is Superman.

I have to caution you that a dislocated ankle of any degree is a serious injury. Don’t be foolish and try to correct it like you’ve seen in the movies – someone pulls your leg tight and snaps it back into place. That stuff is strictly Hollywood. No matter how mild or severe you think it may be, you definitely need to see the sports injury specialists at PA Foot and Ankle Associates as soon as possible for a complete diagnosis and course of treatment.

Too gross to post

If you want to see a picture of an open dislocation of an ankle, click here. Not for weak stomachs.

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