November 17th, 2012 at 5:14 PM ^

Absolutely gruesome yes, but I would be somewhat surprised if he never sees the field again. I'm in high school, a couple years ago one of the best players on our rival snapped his shin clear in half. There was literally no bone connecting his foot to the rest of his leg, only skin. The very next year, he was out there playing against us again. Metal rods inserted into his leg. Modern medical care is amazing. I have a lot of faith in it, as well as a lot of faith in Fitz's drive and toughness and I think he will play again.


November 17th, 2012 at 2:41 PM ^

As someone who had a bad ankle break that required multiple surgeries, I know how difficult that is to go through as an athlete that puts so much of your time and energy into your body.  It is really hard to deal with not being able to do what you've always done, and this is his second potentially major injury at UM.  He was running really hard early too.  I was expecting a good game from him.  I hope it's not as bad as it looks & wish him a speedy recover and return to play.


November 17th, 2012 at 3:57 PM ^

I've had the same thing. My ankle was broken in multiple places, needed serious hardware installed. I wasn't "right" for a long time.

This looks a lot worse. At best it's a full dislocation ankle break like I (and Troy Woolfolk) had. Could be worse than that, though.



November 17th, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

Said he was in "good" condition but I had to explain to a friend that that is hospital generality speak. He isn't in ICU or in critical condition, etc. He clearly has a badly broken lower leg something and is probably hooked up to a morphine pump as we speak.


November 17th, 2012 at 2:59 PM ^

Yeah, that was a nasty injury. Even if he was thinking about leaving early for the NFL, I don't think that would be an option anymore.  Hopefully he returns healthy next year.


November 17th, 2012 at 7:38 PM ^

I really hope I'm wrong. I'm not a doctor, and I have no expertise. However, I had a severe break of my left leg . . . both tibia and fibula, near the base. The orthopedic surgeon did a great job. I walk, I have no limp, I can (kind of) run, I bike, I swim, I'm normal. Here's the deal, though. I will never again be able to make lots of quick cuts, etc. Now, for a 50 plus old man, who cares? But for a RB, quick cuts are everything. So, I'll believe Fitz is fine when I see him again on the field. And like I said, that would be a wonderful thing.


November 17th, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

Nah he might need some pins in his leg, but breaks can be easier to come back from than dislocations or ligament tears. It looks like he got the distal ends of his tibia and fibula snapped offf, which sucks, but unless there was also some soft tissue damage he should be fine next year.


November 17th, 2012 at 3:44 PM ^

I'm sure someone either is now or will soon look at how the tape job plays a part in these injuries. Looks like the break occurred directly above where the tape would normally end. Too much compression on the distal tib/fib and the perfect storm of Fitz's weight an the tacklers weight snapped it like a breadstick. Should be able to come back from that one. Godspeed Fitz!


November 17th, 2012 at 6:20 PM ^

Agreed.  Talking with my (almost) PT girlfriend and me looking at it like an engineer, we came up with the same conclusion.  Shin is being placed into bending.  Lower part is braced by the tape, but the energy has to be accounted for somewhere, so the excess causes a break.

When this happens, being an "emergency" loading and not normal stress, you would want to move the point of failure to somewhere less critical in a part.  With a leg, you would want the ankle to break, not the leg obviously.

In addition, the gf says there is no evidence that ankle taping prevents ankle injuries besides maybe a psychological effect.

Conclusion:  taping needs to be reviewed and modified, but that's probably unlikely to happen.


November 18th, 2012 at 1:02 AM ^

I'm sorry but as an engineer and a surgeon I can't let this one go. Absolutely ridiculous.

Just as there is no evidence that taping prevents sprains, there is no evidence that taping causes bones to fracture in a different location than if there was no tape.

Also FWIW, I would much rather fracture my tibia mid-shaft than have an ankle fracture dislocation (Woolfolk). Ankles are much harder to return to previous level of performance.


November 17th, 2012 at 4:25 PM ^

Assuming no ligament or tissue damage, is this not a "better" injury to come back from than say an ACL.

While all injuries suck, and this one looks gruesome, I like to think that coming back from a broken bone is a bit easier than a torn up knee.  


November 17th, 2012 at 4:49 PM ^

I thought he was starting to find his rhythm and run with some real authority this year. Too bad... terrible news.


Holding my breath for you fitz.


November 17th, 2012 at 5:15 PM ^

Man.  Just got back from the game  to see the injury.  It was as bad as I wasn't hoping for.  Hoke said post-game, listening while on the ride back to hotel, he was in surgery already.  Bad enough Doc didn't want to wait.


November 17th, 2012 at 7:33 PM ^

Looking at the video, I would guess that was an open tibia fracture. If that is the case, #1 definitely better than a ligamentous knee injury as he should be back for next season #2 that would explain why he's in surgery already. Open fractures are best treated ASAP. However it is obviously a horrible injury to have, and he has a lot of work ahead of him to come back.


(Sports surgeon)