Don’t let a Knee Injury Ruin Your World Cup: From Luis Suarez with Love

by Jsantos, June 24, 2014

Don’t let a Knee Injury Ruin Your World Cup: From Luis Suarez with Love

Now that the everyone is watching the 2014 Brazilian World Cup, orthopedic questions arise in my mind. One of the things I wonder about is how knees are so compromised during a soccer game. I know that only orthopedic geeks like me are asking themselves these questions; However, when you watch slow motion repetitions of tons of plays, you clearly see very bad moves, falls and situations where the knee suffers a lot. It is in fact amazing for me to see how sometimes I predict or think a knee injury just happened after I see a repetition and soon after the player stands up and keeps playing like nothing ever happened.

This of course is a situation we do not recall as much as when soccer becomes the main attraction of the planet. Imagine all the pressure a player suffers when he is on the path with his team to classify for the ultimate tournament and finds himself injured. I think that can only be worsen by an injury during the cup.

We analyzed the case of Falcao, the Colombian star who recently suffered and injury, had an ACL reconstruction and missed the tournament. However, today we want to talk about Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan striker. Just three weeks before the greatest sports competition on earth, Luis Suarez suffered a knee injury during practice. This guy is a goal machine who just won best player in the English tournament after scoring 31 times. A whole country suffered when they found out about what happened.

After the injury, Suarez was rushed to the orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed a torn meniscus.  But what is a torn meniscus? Lets quote the definition from the Mayo Clinic:

A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. Any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, especially when putting the pressure of your full weight on it, can lead to a torn meniscus.

Each of your knees has two menisci — C-shaped pieces of cartilage that act like a cushion between your shinbone and your thighbone. A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling and stiffness. You also might have trouble extending your knee fully.

Conservative treatment — such as rest, ice and medication — is sometimes enough to relieve the pain of a torn meniscus and give the injury time to heal on its own. In other cases, however, a torn meniscus requires surgical repair.

In Suarez case, the orthopedic team decided to go for the surgery in order to increase the possibilities of the player to be included in the World Cup. Long story short, surgery was a success and he started his recovery process.

Uruguay is at the time of this writing part of group D with England, Italy and Costa Rica. A very hard group considering the tradition and current level of ex-champions England and Italy. Group D is basically considered a death group, meaning that it is going to be hard for any of its integrants to go to phase 2. For those out there not familiar with soccer and the World Cup, the tournament allows 32 teams to enter phase 1. These teams are organized in 8 groups of 4 and only the top 2 of each group qualify for next round, making it 16 teams, then 8, 4 and the last 2 play the decisive match.

Because of Suarez injury, he didn’t start in game 1 against Costa Rica and the team lost 2-1. Everyone was asking themselves if Suarez was going to be included to safe the day but his help never came. The fear of a second injury stopped the coach. Costa Rica was considered the team to beat and they lost. Maybe Suarez could have changed things but when you are injured it is hard to demand you to be in top conditions and maybe it is better for you and your team to watch the game from the bench. The thing is that a World Cup is a very particular competition and teams go trough so many situations to classify. This makes every second of it a battle. Suarez knows it but he couldn’t do anything.

Game 2: England.

Only days ago from a knee arthroscopy…. the possibilities of a second injury and a understandable possible lack of condition from Suarez didn’t stop Coach Tabárez who made up his mind and bet for his pupil. End of the game. Score: Suarez 2- England 1.



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