The season-ending injury

Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, December 27, 2017

By Casey Riley/Mercer County Athletic Trainer

In this day and age, there are very few career-ending injuries.

With advancements in science and technology most injuries “fixable” and allows athletes to return after a certain period of healing and rehabilitation time.

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Despite these advancements there are still several season ending injuries and I’m sure you’ve known someone as one time that has suffered one of these injuries. These injuries take a large toll on the athlete and I want to discuss how these injuries can affect an athlete.

One of the biggest things to understand is season ending injuries don’t just affect the body part that is injured and that must have time to repair — if also affects the athlete as a person.

All of a sudden, they aren’t the athlete they were. They aren’t complete and can’t compete at the level that they used to. They have a road of recovery that can have many bumps and set backs that can lead to depression, anxiety, and general attitude change. When treating an athlete you have to treat the athlete as a whole, not just the injury.

Their success of recovery can depend on many factors. Today, we expect an athlete to return from an ACL tear but some athletes don’t return. They may have complications of surgery, set backs in rehab that makes them not want to push forward and other outside factors. These are things we have to consider and when talking to and dealing with an athlete you have to think of those factors as well.

At the end of the day if you ever encounter an athlete that has suffered an injury that is expected to take weeks or months to recover, be careful how you talk to them and the questions they give you about the injury.

All responses should be kept upbeat and positive. Parents, family, friends, even basic supporters of a team can have an impact on an athlete that is trying to return after a long injury, but my keeping positive and supportive the athletes chances of a good outcome are brighter!