Drogba can play with broken arm-after all, this is Football!

Ivory Coast Soccer Star Didier Drogba has been given the green light to play soccer with a cast on his broken arm. Drogba, captain of the Ivoran team, Les Elephants, broke his right arm in a warm-up match against Japan on June 4 and underwent surgery.  Les Elephants coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said: “Didier Drogba was injured just above the elbow.” He was outfitted with a special lightweight cast to protect his arm for today’s game vs. Portugal.

Drogba is credited by many with playing a vital role in bringing peace to his country. After the Ivory Coast qualified for the 2006 World Cup, Drogba made a desperate plea to the combatants, asking them to lay down their arms, a plea which was answered with a cease fire after 5 years of civil war.

The elbow is a joint where three bones come together. Your upper arm contains one long bone called the humerus and your lower arm contains two long bones called the radius and the ulna. The pointy tip of your elbow is actually part of the ulna and this part is called the olecranon. The close part of the radius bone that makes up part of the elbow joint is called the radial head.

Fractures of the distal humerus (i.e. a break at the end of the humerus closer to the elbow) are fairly uncommon. They account for about 2% of fractures in adults and  may occur in a number of ways:

  • A direct blow. This can happen during a fall (landing directly on the elbow) or by being struck by a hard object (baseball bat, car dashboard or door during a crash).
  • An indirect fracture. This can happen during a fall if a person lands on his or her outstretched arm with the elbow locked straight. The ulna is driven into the distal humerus, causing it to break.

Xrays of:

  • a normal humerus/elbow
  • a distal humerus fracture
  • surgical repair of the injury
  • Source: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

    For more information:

    Broken elbow
    Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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