Sunday, October 19, 2014

NFL Fantasy Football Ankle and Foot Injury Report: Injuries Below the knee are not that big of a deal, Right? WRONG!

So as we start this Sunday Week 7 of the 2014 NFL season, we wonder .....are foot issues really a problem in the NFL.  As my 3 year old daughter would say, "Heck Yeah!" They are a true issue for so many of the NFL professional athletes and many weekend warriors as well! Looking back at 2013 injuries in the NFL there were reported approximately 1300 injuries in the NFL season.  How many of those were below the knee?  329 injuries were of the foot, ankle, and lower leg in 2013.  206 of these injuries were to the ankle which makes up 15.3% of all the injuries to the NFL football players body in 2013.  This is only second to knee injuries which was a total 300 knee injuries in 2013.

Since we are foot and ankle surgeons we thought we would look at the most common foot and ankle injuries in the NFL and hopefully help you pick the right players for the second half of the fantasy football season of the NFL 2014.

The most commonly reported injuries of the foot and ankle are broken down for you below.  We wanted to make it quick and easy for you. Brief description of the injury, treatment, and should you sit the player. EASY! We know that if someone said to you "Michael Crabtree has plantar fasciitis" you might think that sounds terrible I'll sit him this week, only to be really sad to see him get three touchdowns the week you sit him.  We hope you can use this as a simple guide on when to play your fantasy football player for an injury and when to sit them or even drop them.

Plantar Fasciitis:
 This is a tight but very durable band on the bottom of the foot.  If newly diagnosed, it can be very easily treated with stretching, icing, and anti-inflammatories.  Your player gets plantar fasciitis----Play them

Achilles Tendonitis:  This is a cousin of plantar fasciitis, in that a very tight calf muscle plays a role in developing these problems, but it is more serious than plantar fasciitis. Being the biggest tendon in your body it has the responsibility of pro-pulsing you forward with every step and sprinting step you take.  This is not a reason to drop a player, but watch and see if they practiced that week with no issues then play them.  If they did not practice and you have an equal or almost equal player give your regular starter a break and---Sit Them

Achilles Tendon Rupture: This is what happens usually when above is not addressed properly.  This is a season ending injury(Not career and if it happens early enough in the season and their team makes it to the Superbowl then they might play, but if their team makes it all the way to the Superbowl with out this guy they probably don't need him anyway)---Drop them

Ankle Sprain: The ever illusive reported ankle sprain.  As some sprains are worse than others, and these teams give out no real information(which we understand why), it is better to use the same guidelines as we suggested in Achilles tendonitis, if he practices he's a go if not sit him for a week.  A severe ankle sprain is not as easy to overcome, but still with the right amount of taping a rock star NFL player gets the job done.---Sit them if they don't practice----Play them otherwise

Ankle Dislocation: Though not super common I threw this one in there for RGIII.  If you have a true ankle dislocation, this is a season ending injury for an NFL player.  And if you have the right people and doctors around you, you should not be encouraged to go back to play until you have completely recovered from your injury.  If RGIII has a true ankle dislocation he will not be out there on the field running, that is for sure.----Drop Them

Stress Fracture Foot:  The small bones we walk an run on, that support the whole weight of our body, are called metatarsals.  A very common, but probably not fully disclosed injury to us fans, is the metatarsal stress fracture.  The repetitive pounding of 300 plus pounds can only make this more of a possibility in the NFL than in the regular population.  I believe most of these players stick it out for the paycheck, but if you catch wind that one of you fantasy football players have a stress fracture, it is time to think about letting them go.  Treatment, once admitted by the team, is a walking cast for 4 to 6 weeks, so at least half of a season.---Drop Them

Ankle Fracture: Fracture of the ankle, depending on where and how they fractured it determines what you should do with you fantasy football team and player in question.  Quickly, if they have a fracture that requires no surgery, probably out for 4 weeks.  But in most cases, they require some type of open reduction and internal fixation, which is like a 6-8 weeks recovery of the surgery itself in most normal people.  But these aren't normal people, they are built like machines.  Not a career or even a season ender, but unless you can't drop them because they are on the do not drop list in your league------Drop Them

LisFrancs Injury: The whole entire stability of your foot hinges on this little ligament doing its job, the Lisfranc ligament. If strained is not something to drop a guy over if he is awesome, he might need a little rest and TLC, but if he's not awesome, dump him.  If this ligament is torn or their is a fracture/dislocation it is lights out for the season for that dude.  Even if they come back during the season, which would be too early and not enough time to recover, they would struggle with even simple shoe and support issue.---Drop Them

Turf Toe: So best for last for me, as this is a issue near and dear to my little heart because, yes, AJ Green is my guy that I picked 2nd round in the draft, AND I CAN NOT DROP HIM....... UGH!!!!!! Sorry, so turf toe sounds like a wimpy guy injury but it's not.  Your great toe is where all the magic happens in your gait.  If you can not pro pulse off the great toe joint you can't do jack! This is a very mean injury, as the sprain of the ligaments on the bottom of the great toe joint is something you relive every step you take and if not treated correctly will continue to bother you (and in my case, due to draft picks) all season long! So if you hear murmurings of Turf Toe and the player does not practice or comes out early next game.----Drop them(because I can't)


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