Fakeeh University Hospital saves a young athlete's career, by a timely orthopedic intervention 15-08-2021 12:00 AM Share

Early surgical management was adopted for complete cure and quicker recovery of the footballer.

To save a young footballer’s career is no less than saving his life. Fakeeh University Hospital, DXH Group member recently, did just that. Not only did the hospital was able to save the athlete’s foot, but also gave a new lease of life to his career. 

A 20-year-old professional football player recently visited Fakeeh University Hospital in Dubai with pain in the right foot. The player had complained of the same issue 9-10 months back, at which time it was diagnosed with stress fracture of 5th metatarsal (at a different hospital). After adequate X-rays and MRI reports, the patient was advised rest for 4-6 months, and was advised to avoid any playing or training.
After the rest period, the patient felt recovered and re-started playing football. However, he again started experiencing the same pain and this time, he took a consultation in a healthcare facility in Switzerland. The radiology reports showed no signs of stress fracture, and the patient was given 3 injections for the condition. The patient recovered and again resumed football, only to experience the pain, yet again.
This is when the patient decided to get a second opinion from Dr. Muhammad Khalifa, Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Specialist at Fakeeh University Hospital in Dubai.
The patient, a well known footballer (name kept anonymous as per patient’s request) arrived at the hospital with mild limping and no apparent deformity. However, a complete and detailed diagnosis was performed. 
Considering the sensitivity of the patient’s age, career and the overall case history, Dr. Khalifa took the decision to adopt an early surgical management. The reason being, as per literatures, it is better to opt for operative treatment of the 5th metatarsal fractures, rather than other modes of treatments. Dr. Khalifa was aware that an early surgical management also results in smaller number of delayed unions or non-unions, as compared to conservative treatments.

The goals of an early surgical management are also to minimize the risk of non-union and recurring fractures. Most importantly, to ensure that the athlete can get back to active sports as soon as possible and without hassles.

"In such cases, timely intervention and proper diagnosis is vital. When we are handling the delicate life and career of an athlete, an accurate treatment path should be taken. We were able to successfully perform the surgery at the right time for the patient, before his condition could go worse. What further helped us was that Fakeeh University Hospital has the right equipment to perform all such advanced surgeries, with accuracy and faster recovery periods," says Dr. Muhammad Khalifa, Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Specialist, Fakeeh University Hospital.

The patient, was discharged on the same day, with post-operative and rehabilitation instructions.
These included, short period of non-weight bearing for 1-2 weeks, protected weightbearing and beginning therapy focusing on range of motion, Non-impact aerobic exercises, commencement of running and impact activities at 6 weeks, if signs of radiographic callus focused shock waves recommended at the fracture site up to 2-3 sessions and avoiding Set-Piece Kick by left leg and curve running on right side
Benefits of Early Surgical Management
Medical literatures point that it is better to opt for operative treatment of the 5th metatarsal fractures, rather than other modes of treatments, particularly in professionals
It results in smaller number of delayed unions or no non-unions, as compared to conservative treatments. It also ensures quicker recovery time and is less complex and hassle free.