RICE & MICE: A step in the right direction…

A step in the right direction on the road to recovery. This could be huge for the Flyers. James van Riemsdyk is nearing a return from the fractured bone in his foot.

Likely, he will have missed a total of 19 regular season games, along with the first 4 games of the 1st round of the playoffs. Van Riemsdyk originally fractured the foot while blocking a shot on March 1and had surgery to fix the fractured area with a plate on March 6th. At that time, it was estimated that he would miss 4-to-6 weeks. After seeing the doctor early in April, it was determined that he would miss another 2-to-3 weeks.

Approximately 10 percent of all fractures occur in the 26 bones of the foot. There are 2 bones in the hind foot, the calcaneous, or heel bone, and the talus, that sits on top of the calcaneous. There are 5 bones in the midfoot , the navicular, the cuboid, and 3 cuneiforms. Finally a total of 19 bones make up the forefoot. There are 5 metatarsals and 14 phalanges.

from webmd

The metatarsals are numbered 1-5 and the 1st metatarsal connects to the phalanges of the big toe. The 5th metatarsal connects to the phalanges of the little toe.

Fractures of the first metatarsal usually require surgery, while fractures of the middle metatarsals (the 2nd, 3rd and 4th) do not require surgery unless there are significant displacements of the bone. Fractures of the 5th metatarsal may or may not require surgical intervention depending on where the bone is fractured.

examples of plates used in fracture repair from www.ec21.comSurgical intervention will help stabilized the broken bone and reinforce the area to aid in proper healing. This is achieved by use of pins or plates to hold the pieces of bone in place.

After surgery, a removable boot is usually worn for about 6 weeks. Sometimes athletes may maintain cardiovascular conditioning during this time, through swimming, “running” in a pool or riding a stationary bike.

If van Riemsdyk’s conditioning isn’t too bad, we may see him for the start of the 2nd round of the playoffs; however that might be a little presumptuous of me. He has only been skating for a week and practiced with the team on Saturday, though he didn’t do all of the drills, and will hopefully be ready to go when he gets the “all clear” from the doctor. At practice, he wore a protective shell over his left skate and has graduated to a different walking boot. He still has some pain in that foot as well, but skating with the team is a step in the right direction.

example of protective skate guards, Skate Fenders from http://www.lssu.edu/whats_new/articles.php?articleid=2138

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Tom Sestito also skated with the team on Saturday and may be nearing a return from his abdominal injury.  He would provide added depth to the lineup. Andrej Meszaros also skated last week, by himself, and that seems to have him on track with his anticipated timeline of 6-to-8 weeks following back surgery.