Broken Leg: A four week break.
Broken Leg: A four-week break.
I have heard this question a lot this week “How did you get Dan Currams back in Four weeks?”.
The answer is with a lot of hard work and a lot of help which I am going to outline in a case study type article.
3rd September: Hurling a challenge match on Sunday morning and Dan received a direct blow to the lower 3rd of his fibula. So where and what is the fibula? Below the knee, you have two major bones, 1: Tibia (shin bone) which lies on the inside, 2. Fibula smaller than the tibia and lies on the outside of the leg. Both bones travel the length of the lower leg and attach into the ankle.
This resulted in a lot of bleeding and Eddie Scully (Soft tissue specialist) in my clinic sent Dan straight into A&E. I got a call from the manager Stephen (The Bluebird) Byrne saying that the leg was broken. I text Dan that I needed to see the X-Ray as it's very important to see the extent of damage and also what break to understand where to start Rehab. He couldn't send me on an image so we were at deadlock what to do next.
Next, I heard Dan was sent home and put in a boot, I was delighted as that meant no operation was needed, we had a small chance but again I needed an image to understand the damage.
7th September: First visit in the clinic:
A boot and two crutches and a very depressed Dan is what I was greeted with. No problem let's have a look at the damage. The leg looked ok, the bones were very tender to touch and there was a huge amount of bruising and swelling. Our first job is to get rid of the swelling as this will restrict movement. How we do this is by strapping the ankle every day. Next job was to start trying to clear the dead blood (Bruising) and get fresh blood in to start the healing process.
I handed over to Eddie (steady Eddie) who started treating Dan daily, massaging the leg and using an abrasion tool to clear out any scar tissue. Eddie's role in this can not be understated he would have seen Dan over 20 times in the four weeks leading up to the match. A great character who got more info out of Dan in 2 weeks than half the KK team have in 5 years. The importance of keeping a player in good form cannot be understated, who would do exercises and keep showing up to treatment if they do not have the belief or desire to get back. A Lot of the desire came from Dan but Eddie added a lot of laughter to the equation.
7th - 14th September: Holidays
I missed the county semi-final, you can blame my two brothers for that a 30th birthday present. Anyways Dan obviously didn't play but we scraped through. I still needed to get an image and Dan tried every avenue to get one but to no avail. Eddie kept plugging away and we also started Dan in the OnePILATES studio.
As Dan was still in a boot he couldn't weight bear on the leg, but with the reformer bed(Of which we have ten) it allows you to train the major muscle groups of the body. With the bed, we were able to keep muscle mass in Dan’s quads, hamstring glutes, and core. Without the reformer, I honestly wouldn't know what to have given him to do. A brilliant piece of equipment and studio that we just opened in the nick of time. Amy and Natalie again were involved here as I only done one session with Dan in the studio, so they also deserve a lot of praise. So the plan was to get Dan to do 3 One PILATES sessions a week until the final.
Did I believe he would get back?, honestly no Did Dan believe he would get back?, no doubt yes.
19th September: Xray
So at last we got an Image or three that we could analyse,there was an image taken originally at the time of the break but we couldn't find it. So when I received the image I sent it to 4 people 1: Andy (physio in TC clinic) 2: Eddie 3: The bluebird 4: Dave O’Sullivan (Former physio munster, leeds rhinos, huddersfield giants). My initial thoughts were that the bone looked healthy but Dan text me and said the doctor said it would be another 4 weeks. Andy also said it didn't look good but was very hard to tell. Eddie has a cousin that is a radiologist and he sent it to him who got back and said the bone looks good but could be a big risk.
We stayed doing the same thing massage by Eddie and reformer pilates by Natalie and Amy.
26th September: second last training
Bad news I made the call, I told bluebird there was no hope and I told Dan too. I just couldn't take the risk of him doing more damage and all the info I had received was that it was too much of a risk. I was a bit more deflated than Dan which surprised me, but looking back that's what makes a good leader, understanding that their impact is still felt in the dressing room. So Dan stayed positive throughout.
27th September: Whatsapp
7.45 pm - Text from Dave O’ Sullivan: “Sorry I didn't get back to you but that bone is good to go”. I replied instantly “Can you take a call?”. We talked for twenty minutes, Dave explained he showed it to a few docs and also was of the opinion if he can hop, jog, jump, pain-free he will be ok. I text dan and met him in the clinic at 9.30 pm and we got him hopping sprinting on the spot etc.
28th September: Running
7.30 am we went for a run in O'Brien Park. I just needed to see how he was moving, We did about twenty minutes of straight line running and some twisting and turning. I got into my car at 8 am and text Stephen “He is good to go”.
With regards his running I made a few slow-mo videos and analyzed them after which showed me where we needed to go rehab wise to clean up his running. The key point here is that he was not allowing his left arm to swing forward which would affect his left calf strength.
12 pm: I and Ed had a look and decided we needed to concentrate on getting the fibula moving again as it was stuck in the boot for 3 weeks. We did a lot of exercises in standing and found a few areas to work on. Knowing Dan we knew he would work and work hard.
29th September: Chasing
Another early morning session with Ed and then I met dan later on in Mountbolus for some chasing drills.
5 pm - 8 pm: I wanted to get Dan's lungs moving again but also check his ability to twist and turn on that leg. One simple exercise was to get him to chase me around the field and yes I am deceivingly fast. It all went well and Dan trained for about 3 hours that night.
No pain or swelling after so we were good to go. Two more massages on Saturday and Sunday and the rest is history.
Key point: We wouldn't be able to get this done without the people I have mentioned but big praise has to go to Dan himself. One thing he has above a lot of players and athletes I deal with is he trusts. He trusts that I will get him back from injury, he trusts that sean Sweeney will get him very fit and he trusts management will make the right decisions. In this case study, I have shown that I as well trust and use different people to help achieve my goals. Trust is not an easy thing to give but once you do then that's one less thing to worry about.