With the recent news that Rajon Rondo is still feeling pain from his elbow dislocation, I decided to put on my white coat and try to help the average fan in understanding the injury and what the usual suspects can expect for a recovery.
I say usual suspects because Rajon is a freak of nature, which has me banking on his full speedy recover, but let us look at best and worst case scenarios.
The first question we must answer is what is an elbow dislocation? I do not want to pull the video and show the injury because I have a weak stomach.
There are actually three kinds of elbow dislocations; (1) a simple dislocation (no major bone injury), (2) a complex dislocation (possible severe bone and ligament injuries) and (3) a severe dislocation (blood vessels and nerves are injured with bone and ligament damage.
A simpler explanation is brought to us by Dr. David Geier:
“An elbow dislocation is a fairly straightforward, albeit uncommon, injury. Typically an athlete lands on his outstretched hand with the elbow flexed, driving the ulna (one of the forearm bones) backward and popping it out from under the humerus. It’s uncommon because the elbow is a very stable joint.”
Dr. Geier also gives us an understanding of how much pain Rondo had to endure during that day and after, but we are not here to talk about the past.
Rajon was recently asked about his situation with the elbow and here is the blurb he had:
"It's the most pain I've ever been in playing ball. I'm feeling a little pain now, but the swelling is down. The only thing is there's swelling in my joint. I'll be fine, it just takes time. I've got a couple more weeks that I'm off, as far as rest and the repetition of weights."
As we know, Rondo opted to not to have surgery on his dislocated elbow. Instead the treatment remedy for this was to first pop the elbow back in place, which they did immediately. The second treatment is to keep the elbow immobile for two to three weeks in a splint or sling. If the elbow is kept immobile for too long, it may affect the mobility of the joint. Of course, physical therapy is the last step, which we are all sure Rajon Rondo has done.
I want to end on a blurb that will show the worst case scenario. Remember I feel that Rondo is a super hero and will over come this injury, but there is always a worst case scenario. After reading this blurb at orthoinfo.aaos.org, I am now encouraging a longer lockout for the sake of Rajon’s elbow.
“Some people will never be able to fully open (extend) the arm, even after physical therapy. Fortunately, the elbow can work very well even without full range of motion. Once the elbow's range of motion improves, the doctor or physical therapist may add a strengthening program. X-rays may be taken periodically while the elbow recovers to ensure that the bones of the elbow joint remains well aligned. “
Do you have any concerns about Rondo's recovery?