Tag Archives: mlb injuries

Curt Schilling Shares Photo of His Stitched-Up Ankle from 2004 World Series

13 Nov

curt schilling pitchingDo you remember when Curt Schilling pitched for the Red Sox? When he led them to their first World Series win in over 100 years?

Now do you remember the bloody sock spectacle when his ankle appeared to be hemmoraging while he stood on the plate?




Some naysayers said it was only ketchup, and that Schilling was putting on a show. But this week, Schilling put those rumors to rest when he tweeted this image of his stitched-up ankle from 2004.


curt schilling ankle injury 2004


Now we know what it looked like under that famous sock. And that it was for-real ankle injury. Wow.

We can’t even imagine the pain that Schilling endured during that spectacular game. Pitching requires an extraordinary amount of precision and control, not only from your ankles, but from your entire body. And to pitch such a legendary game with an ankle in that condition is just… SUPER HUMAN!

‘Nuff said. Back off, haters.

Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera has surgery for bone spurs and stress fracture

27 Oct

cabrera hits a homer

Miguel Cabrera, legendary first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, surprised everyone – or no one at all, depending on who you ask – by announcing that he had right ankle surgery to remove the bone spurs which dogged him all season, and to repair a stress fracture of the navicular bone. The navicular bone lies on the top of the foot near the front of the ankle, and plays an important role in maintaining the arch of the foot.

If you’re a baseball fan, you no doubt heard that Cabrera struggled with these injuries the second half of the season this year, even though he hit .313 with 25 home runs, and 109 RBI’s (that’s a crap season for Cabrera, even though anyone else would be breaking out the Cristal and re-negotiating their contract with those numbers). By comparison, in 2013 Cabrera hit .348 with 44 home runs and 137 RBI’s, which won him his second consecutive American League Most Valuable Player award. By the end of this season however, Cabrera could barely run on the ankle due to the excruciating pain.

navicular bone fracture

Arrow points to the Navicular bone.

“It was a surprise, I’d say, for all of us,” team president Dave Dombrowski said. “We were not aware [the stress fracture] was there. I’m not sure how long it was there. He did have a couple of screws inserted. They cannot even believe once they went in there and looked at it that he could play with the ankle that he had. It’s worse than what we ever would have anticipated.”

Cabrera’s ankle will be reevaluated in 3 months, late in January, just a few weeks before the Tiger’s spring training is to begin.

Red Sox’ Mike Carp on DL with Broken Foot

5 Jun

We’re always happy to see an athlete and clubhouse taking their foot and ankle injuries seriously and giving them time to heal.

red sox mike carp

The world champion Boston Red Sox announced that 1st baseman and outfielder Mike Carp is on the 15 day DL with a fractured right foot. Last week, Carp was struck by a pitch during a game against Atlanta when he fouled it off his foot. He continued to play (risky!) and post-game x-rays were negative. So he also started Friday’s and Saturday’s games.

But after Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, Carp’s foot was still hurting, so he had further tests done. No surprise to us that a CT scan revealed a fracture. After all, the pitch from the Braves’ David Hale was flying at 83 mph BEFORE Carp fouled it off his right foot. After the scan, doctors immediately ordered Carp into a walking boot and he’ll be on the bench for 2-3 weeks, according to Red Sox manager John Farell.

It’s necessary to rest a fractured bone in the foot for at least a week. After that, a strict regimen of physical therapy is required for an athlete to get the bone back in shape. If Carp resumes playing before the bone is properly healed, the fracture can become much worse. Or due to weakness in the bone, the foot may be injured in another way, such as an ankle sprain, tendon rupture, or fracture elsewhere in the foot.

The Red Sox and every baseball club – or for that matter any sport organization – should move cautiously when allowing a team member to resume playing. What’s best for the team isn’t always what’s best for the player (see: concussion lawsuit/NFL).

If you’re an athlete and experience any tenderness or pain in your feet, ankles, or lower legs, it’s always best to have it checked by a podiatrist at PA Foot and Ankle Associates, even if your trainer has given you the green light. Podiatrists and podiatric surgeons are the only physicians trained exclusively to treat the diseases and conditions of the foot and ankle and are expert in diagnosing and treating minor injuries before they become big problems.

Mark Trumbo’s Foot Injury: Why playing through pain is always a bad idea

25 Apr
From any podiatrist’s point of view, it was just a matter of time. Mark Trumbo of the Arizona Diamondbacks developed plantar fasciitis in spring training. Ignoring the pain, he continued to play. This week, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson announced that Trumbo is on the 15 day DL with a stress fracture in his left foot – the same foot which developed the plantar fasciitis.

trumbo foot injury

In hindsight, Trumbo’s stats suggest that the pain from his plantar fasciitis was affecting his play. From Bleacher Report: Trumbo got off to a red-hot start for Arizona with five home runs in his first nine games of the new season. His play has dropped off considerably after that early surge, however. His on-base percentage has dipped to .264 and he’s only chipped in two more homers since April 6. 

Trumbo said,  “The plantar (fasciitis) at times has been pretty bad but manageable. That’s what you have to do. You’ve got to earn a living and play. This was to the point where I severely had to compensate running-wise to the point where I probably wouldn’t be much of an asset on either side.”

We disagree that Trumbo had to play through the pain. But we do agree that most likely, the compensation resulted in the stress fracture. If Trumbo and his trainers would have addressed the plantar fasciitis at its onset, he would have had to sit out 3-4 weeks while he rehabbed (depending on its severity), but he could have avoided the more severe stress fracture injury. Bleacher Report also notes that: “…the slugger had a similar issue in the opposite foot three years ago and it took more than five months to recover. Although this injury isn’t as serious, there’s no timetable for his return to the Diamondbacks lineup.” 

As we always say, NO pain is normal.

Plantar fasciitis is no joke. In its early stages, some might consider it a minor injury, but PF can quickly turn into an extremely painful, almost crippling condition. Taking that first step after getting out of bed can send shooting pain through your heel. While the pain tends to diminish as the tendon warms up, professional athletes, who place a great amount of stress on their feet, must address their plantar fasciitis early. If they continue to play, the PF will become much worse, or due to compensation, a more severe injury develops – like a stress fracture.

When you feel pain in your foot, it’s an indication that something is wrong. Address the symptoms early, and the sports injury experts at PA Foot and Ankle Associates will develop a plan to get you back in the game with minimum bench time.


Angels’ Albert Pujols Out With Plantar Fascia Tear

29 Jul

pujolsLos Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols, who has been struggling with plantar fasciitis in his left foot for seven years (that’s right, 7 years!), is most likely out for the rest of the season after tearing his plantar fascia in Friday night’s game against Oakland. Angels’ Manager Mike Scioscia said that Pujols, who hit .258 with 17 home runs and 64 RBI’s despite being hobbled all season by the troublesome foot, will be out “for a significant amount of time.”

Back in April Pujols, 33, said of his plantar fasciitis, “I’m dying. It’s hurting real bad.”  He was considering off season surgery, and he sort of got his wish Friday night when he tore the ligament, achieving a similar result. In plantar fascia surgery, a podiatric surgeon cuts part of the plantar fascia ligament to release tension and relieve inflammation. The surrounding soft tissue attaches to the plantar fascia and helps it heal. Unfortunately for Pujols, he didn’t suffer a complete tear, so off-season surgery may still be an option.

The minimum recovery period for a plantar fascia tear is six weeks, but with the Angels all but out of playoff contention and a season-high 13 games behind Oakland in the American League West, there is no need to bring Pujols back for the final two weeks of the season. Instead of having surgery in October and spending most of the winter rehabbing, Pujols  can spend the rest of the summer recovering and come back healthy in 2014.

plantar-fasciitis diagramJust goes to show what we always say – don’t play through the pain, because it will always get worse, sometimes seriously.  It’s remarkable that even with the Angels’ state of the art sports medicine, highly paid trainers, and months to rest in every off season, Pujols’ plantar fasciitis never sufficiently healed. It’s a particularly difficult injury to treat in some cases.

Even if you’re an amateur athlete – especially you marathon runners – you may easily be exposing your feet to the same pounding an MLB player like Pujols does.  Any sign of pain – toes, heel, arch, or ankle – needs to be addressed immediately and given time to properly heal. Being out of the game temporarily, even for a full season, is much better than aggravating a minor condition into a serious injury which can sideline you for much longer.

Derek Jeter’s Ankle Injury – A Longer Road to Recovery

30 May

It’s no exaggeration when we say that an ankle injury needs to be treated properly and healed completely with rest and physical therapy before you go back to your routine. Yankee Derek Jeter is a case in point.

broken ankleIf you recall, last October Jeter broke his left ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS. For about thirty days prior to the break, he was playing while nursing a bone bruise in the same area. Since then, he’s had surgery and physical therapy to repair the fracture. In March, Jeter reported that his ankle was fully healed and that he would be in the Yankees lineup opening day.

But on April 12, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman reported that Jeter now has a crack in his ankle in the same area as the previous injury and is benched until the all-star break. Jeter said he was unsure when he suffered the new fracture, which is in the same bone he broke during last season’s playoffs.

Jeter is 39 years old – just about over-the-hill if you play professional sports. During games, the demands on his feet and ankles are intense and the older we get the more difficult it is for our bone structure to hold up under this pressure.

“When we took the (two) CT-scans before spring training started, the bone had healed,” Jeter said. “I’m not one to complain about something being sore, so you just go out there and play, which I did. It just never went away. I wasn’t able to run. I wasn’t able to do things that I wanted to do. I had it checked out again and that’s when they found out that it was fractured again. I would assume it has probably been like that for quite some time… There’s no way to tell.”

Exactly, there’s no way to tell. Jeter describes a typical scenario for many professional and weekend athletes: playing with pain, dismissing a potential injury. That’s never a good idea, especially when you’re already injured.

So the lesson here is that if you feel pain in your ankle, don’t assume it’s just a little soreness that will go away. Have it checked out by a podiatrist at your first opportunity for a thorough diagnosis. Perhaps it is just a little irritation that will clear up with rest, but it might also be a fractured ankle… again.

Yankee Derek Jeter out for postseason with ankle fracture

15 Oct

It wasn’t  an unusual play for Derek Jeter.

Fielding a ground ball during the 12th inning in Detroit Saturday night during Game 1 of the ALCS, Jeter took four steps to his left and with his left ankle twisting under him, fell to the ground. As he flipped the ball to 2nd baseman Robinson Canoe, it was obvious that the long term Yankees short stop was in great pain. There he lay, unable to get back on his feet until he was helped off the field, left leg dangling, by manager Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donahue.

derek jeter broken anle

Jeter during the play that fractured his ankle

After a series of x-rays in the clubhouse it was announced that Jeter, 38, had broken his left ankle and would be out for the rest of the season. On Sunday, after a CT scan and MRI, it was announced that he would have surgery to repair the fracture in the coming few weeks. This marks the first time since Jeter became a Yankee in 1996 that he will miss post season play.

Since September, Jeter was nursing what was described as a “bone bruise” on his left ankle from a foul ball, and there’s speculation that this may have contributed to the ankle fracture. Usually, the decision to perform surgery is based solely on x-rays. Early indications are that the fracture is confined to the tibia, known as the shin bone, but the additional CT and MRI studies may suggest additional soft tissue damage to tendons or ligaments around the ankle.

How long will it take for Jeter to make a full recovery?

The usual healing period for a fracture of this nature is about 8-10 weeks, including physical rehab. But for a shortstop, an additional 2-3 weeks are required to condition the repaired area to take the stress of the quick lateral movements the position requires. Covering that stretch between 2nd and 3rd base requires more side-to-side movement than any other position in baseball. The good news is, Jeter will have the entire off season to recover and should be ready for training camp in the spring.

Jeter, whose ankle has been placed in a splint and is walking with crutches, was not at Yankee Stadium on Sunday and will not travel with the team to Detroit. Before the injury, Jeter was having an incredible year, batting .316 in the regular season, with 216 hits. He carried that over into the postseason, batting .364, the highest of any regular in the Yankees lineup. Jayson Nix will replace Jeter at shortstop.

Without Jeter in the postseason, do you think the Yankees will advance to the World Series?

BONUS: Here’s a surgical video showing one technique used to repair an ankle fracture. Note that there is never a one size fits all option for surgery. The nature of the injury, the patient’s lifestyle, and the extent of the damage, are all considered by a surgeon when determining the methods by which an ankle is repaired.

Red Sox’ David Ortiz to undergo PRP Therapy for Achilles injury

29 Aug

David Ortiz (aka “Big Papi), the Designated Hitter for the Boston Red Sox is back on the 15 day DL. The right Achilles tendon injury which benched him for 35 games this season was aggravated during Friday night’s game against Kansas City, in which he went 2 for four with a double. Ortiz, who has a career batting average of .285 with 401 homeruns and 1,326 RBI’s, will have a PRP (platelet-rich-plasma) injection this week, in an attempt to heal the injury without surgery.


According to the Boston GlobeOrtiz said he… hoped [the PRP injection] would give him a “60-70 percent’’ chance of getting back to make a contribution during the final 33 games of the season.

“You guys know I live for this [game],’’ he said. “And there’s not one thing that I would like to do more than be out there performing for our fans. I had one [PRP injection] done before and I believe in that big-time.” (His previous PRP injection was in 2007 to help heal a knee injury).

What is a PRP injection?

PRP stand for Platelet Rich Plasma, a treatment which involves using the patient’s own blood to speed healing.  PRP is used to treat Achilles tendon injuries, arthritis,  muscle tears, plantar fasciitis, scar tissue and certain other painful conditions.

How PRP works

A small amount of the patient’s blood is drawn and then run through a centrifuge, which draws off and concentrates the platelets and some white blood cells, creating the Platelet Rich Plasma. This is then injected into the injured area to speed up the healing process. Depending on the severity of the injury, the treatment may require 3-7 injections 4-6 weeks apart.

“I thought I was going to be OK until I hit that double and I had to rush out to second base,’’ Ortiz said. “I felt that pain because I was running with the game intensity. The way I feel right now, it wasn’t right.’’

“I want to be careful with it because… if you’re sore, you know your body’s telling you something, and if you continue doing damage on top of it from what you already have, then it costs you a surgery. That’s why we’re trying to be careful.”

Listen to Big Papi! Pain is the body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong.

PA Foot and Ankle Associates is the Lehigh Valley’s leader in treating foot and ankle-related sports injuries. PAFAA may recommend Platelet Rich Plasma injections when other therapies and anti inflammatory medicines are unsuccessful in eliminating pain.


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