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Joe Theismann - Open Fracture

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Updated May 07, 2006

The Player:

Joe Theismann was one of the great quarterbacks of the Washington Redskins. Theismann played in two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XVII and earning MVP honors, and appeared in two Pro Bowls. He owns Redskins records for most passing attempts, completions, and yards.

The Injury:

During a Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants, Theismann was struck by Lawrence Taylor on a failed flea-flicker play. Theismann sustained an open, also called a compound, fracture to his tibia and fibula.

The Surgery:

Theismann was rushed to a local hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to wash the open fracture. It is of utmost importance to extensively wash the fracture within 8 hours of the injury to minimize the risk of infection.

After the open fracture was thoroughly washed, the fracture required stabilization. Stabilization of these fractures can be accomplished with internal fixation (rods, plates, and screws), external fixation, or, as in Theismann's case, a cast.

The Outcome:

Theismann's injury was in a location that is difficult to heal, and he ultimately ended up with a slightly shortened leg on the side of the injury. Theismann never returned to professional football.
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