Rookie of the Year, Chris Coghlan, struck out with a pie.

Florida Marlin’s left fielder,  Chris Coghlan has been put on the disabled list with a torn meniscus in his left knee.The NL Rookie of the Year, injured himself while delivering a pie in the face to teammate Wes Helms, who had just hit a  bases-loaded single in the 11th inning of a 5-4 win over Atlanta on Sunday.The injury was detected on a MRI and could need surgery. Coghlin told the Palm Beach Post: “It happened as I was going to pie Wes (Helms) in the face and when I jumped I landed on my knee wrong. That’s how I hurt it.” If surgery is needed, Coghlan may be out 6-8 weeks.  Needless to say, Marlin’s manager, Edwin Rodriguez, has now banned the celebratory practice.

The knee joint is the largest joint in the body, consisting of 4 bones and an extensive network of ligaments and muscles.

Each knee joint has two crescent-shaped cartilage menisci. These lie on the medial (inner) and lateral (outer) edges of the upper surface of the tibia bone. They are essential components, acting as shock absorbers for the knee as well as allowing for correct weight distribution between the tibia and the femur.

Meniscal tears are most commonly caused by twisting or over-flexing the joint and frequently happen during sports. Players may squat and twist the knee, causing a tear. Direct contact, like a tackle, may be involved.

The most common symptoms of meniscal tear are:

  • Pain
  • Clicking or popping (especially at the time of the injury)
  • Stiffness and swelling
  • Catching or locking of the knee
  • The sensation of the knee “giving way”
  • Decreased range of motion at the knee

Treatment depends on the severity of the tear. Small tears may only need “RICE” treatment (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to allow the cartilage to heal on its own. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin or ibuprofen may be added for pain relief. More serious tears usually require surgical treatment- usually done arthroscopically, where the torn cartilage is trimmed or repaired.

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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