4 things you need to know about J.J. Watt's injury


HOUSTON – What is a tibial plateau fracture and what does it mean for J.J. Watt's Texans' career?

Here are four things to know:

1. The Texans announced Watt is out for the rest of the season. Dr. Patrick McCulloch, an orthopedic surgeon at Houston Methodist Hospital said recovery from an injury like this can range from a few months up to many months. "When you get a break there or crack, it goes not just from the leg bone but up into the knee joint itself. So it involves the bone and the slippery cartilage that makes up your knee joint. So that's what makes it a more significant injury," McCulloch said.

2. What is the possible treatment? The team said Watt has a tibial plateau fracture. The doctor demonstrated such an injury is at the top part of the bone. He said treatment can range up to surgery. “Well it's a common injury for an orthopedic surgeon who has training in that to be able to identify which ones need to be fixed and which ones can heal on their own," McCulloch said.

3. What determines the seriousness of the injury? “If the pieces have moved far apart, that means the cartilage won’t be smooth and slippery anymore so often a surgery is done to help line those pieces up and hold them with a plate and screws,” McCulloch said.

4. Is it possible to recover from such an injury? McCulloch said yes. He treats athletes. He said recovery will take time. “This is something that athletes face and this is part of sports and how you face it is the measure of a champion,” McCulloch said.

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