Mirador Explores Some of the Most Unique Injuries on Campus

Drew Anderson and Matt Metheny, Staff Writer's

by Drew Anderson Matt Metheny


Most unfortunate way of getting injured

After Ryan Childers ‘13 got a concussion during the football season, he was probably asked the question “what happened?” many times. Although this seems like a relatively easy question to answer, Childer’s argues that it gets tiring trying to explain how your own teammate accidentally punched you in the face with his helmet.

“My teammate was getting everyone pumped up, and waving his hands around with his helmet in his hand, and when he swung around he accidentally punched me in the face with his helmet and gave me a concussion,” Childers said.

Though Childers was saddened to be injured in such a bizarre way, he felt no hostility towards his teammate, and said that he thinks he apologized, though he can’t remember exactly.

“He is a great guy he was just doing it for the sake of the team and I was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Childers said.

Fortunately Childers did not have to miss any games, but he did have to miss a few days of school.

Most severe injury

In a JV football game against Dublin, Alexander Schnier ‘15 left the game with what he thought was just a minor injury, however the next day, just to make sure everything was okay, Schnier went to the hospital for an x-ray, and found out that he had a broken femur.

“I got hit in the leg by the running back and immediately fell to the ground. At first I thought it was a minor knee injury that would last just a few weeks. After going to the doctor the next day to double check everything, the doctor said to get an x ray just to be sure. That’s when we found out it was broken,” Schnier said.

The fact that Schnier even walked off the field is incredible in itself. Most people who break their femur cannot walk for several days, if not weeks, after the injury. A broken femur requires an extremely high energy collision, and is most common in car accidents or gunshot wounds, but rarely during football games. The femur is the longest and strongest bone in the body, and requires about 600 pounds of force to break it. For such a severe injury, the rehab process is hard, and requires lots of time and patience.

“The rehab is very tough. Because I couldn’t put any weight on my leg for a good two months, all I could do all day without pain was to sit on my couch with my leg elevated,” Schnier said. “The week after I got surgery I started physical therapy. The only physical therapy I could do for a month was just bending the knee to work on range of motion. Eventually I began to walk with crutches and do more balance type exercises. Today the only thing I’m not allowed to do yet is squat with weight. I’ll be able to do that at the end of March. So I guess it will be six months after getting hurt.”

Though the rehab process is long and strenuous, Schnier is diligent in his training, but says he still doesn’t know what it will be like to play football with the injury.

Most uncommon Injury

Tom Helsel ‘14 was playing in a JV football game last year when he injured his back in what he thought was just a minor injury, but as it turns out, he has a herniated L5 disc, and a torn L4 disc, an injury that has changed what he can do.

“JV year I was playing against Campo and I got hit in the back. At first the trainer and doctors thought I had just pulled a muscle in my back, but a week later I got an MRI and that’s when they told me I had a herniated L5 disc, and a torn L4 disc,” Helsel said.

A herniated disc occurs when the discs in the spine are hit out of place or compressed, and this can cause pain, and greater risk of injury if not treated correctly. What is so rare i-1n Helsel’s case is that herniated discs are rarely seen in teenagers and are far more common in adults. As for Helsel’s case, he is still in the healing process.

“ I have done lots of physical therapy, and some acupuncture, but I still am not fully healed, and doctors don’t know exactly how long that can take,” Helsel said.

Helsel said the injury hasn’t changed him too much. He can’t play contact sports like football, lacrosse or rugby, but he stays active by playing basketball and other sports that don’t require as much contact. Helsel says he only knows of one other person that’s had a similar injury.