Written by Tom Weber, MD, RMH Orthopedics and Sports Medicine 

Tom Weber, MD

Tom Weber, MD

Everyone watching March Madness this weekend let out a collective “OH NO” when Louisville basketball star Kevin Ware landed awkwardly during the game against Duke Saturday. Ware went up to block a three point attempt and was twisting when he landed. His 6’5 frame combined with leaping over 36 inches, then landing while rotating caused a force too much for his lower leg to handle. Ware sustained a midshaft tibia-fibula fracture on his right leg.

Typically, these fractures occur from a direct blow in contact sports like football or rugby, but these can occur occasionally with the perfect storm of forces transmitted across the long bones of our arms or legs.

Kevin Ware had surgery that night to repair his broken leg. I am not certain of the details, but likely he had an intramedullary rod inserted down the length of his tibia to stabilize the bone and line up the broken ends properly so they can heal. The smaller bone of the lower leg, the fibula, usually lines up well once the tibia’s alignment is regained.

Unfortunately, midshaft tibia fractures often take months and months to heal. Ware will be on crutches at least the next 2-3 months. Once the bones have healed, he can then begin rehab to get his strength and cardiovascular conditioning back.

We at Sentara wish him the best and a speedy recovery!