Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Super Bowl High Ankle Sprain and Platelet Rich Plasma

Rob Gronkowski of the SuperBowl New England Patriots apparently has a "high ankle" sprain.  First let's define a high ankle sprain.  This is a stretching or tearing of the ligaments that connect the two bones of the just above the ankle, the fibula and tibia.  That is why it is called a "high" ankle sprain as opposed to a typical less serious ne that involves the ligaments just below the joint line.  It can lead to significant instability of the ankle that at times requires surgery.  It also takes between 6-8 weeks to heal even if surgery is not needed.  

The details about his injury are little sketchy but here is what I can find so far.   He did not practice on Monday and has been wearing a boot.  He injured it in the AFC championship game 10 days ago.  I think it is possible the doctors may have given him platelet rich plasma to speed the healing of his injury.  There is no published data supporting this application but based on preclinical studies, it may be an effective treatment.  Here is a link to a story that fuels that speculation.    He will also likely to receive game time treatment in the form of tight taping or bracing and perhaps even a pain killing shot into the joint. 

Here is what to watch for.  Will he be able to block and make sharp cuts during his recieving routes?  A high ankle sprain by definition injuries the ligaments that stablize and support these moves.  Can he somehow become the Hines Ward of 2012 and make a catch in the first series that helps his team ultimately win the Super Bowl?  The first quarter of the game will help all of us better understand.  Hopefully, after the game we will learn more about his actual injury and treatment. 

Read more about High Ankle Sprains

Read more this speculation on ESPN

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