November 18, 2023
After Joe Burrow, quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, sustained a season-ending right wrist injury, we asked Dr. Xavier Simcock, hand, wrist and elbow surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at RUSH, to explain this injury.
1. There are dozens of ligaments in the wrist. The two most important are the SL ligament (scapholunate ligament) and the TFCC ligament complex (triangular fibrocartilage complex). The SL ligament is crucial to the wrist like the ACL to the knee. The TFCC complex in the wrist is more like the meniscus in the knee.
2. Partial tears at either ligament can take months to rehab. Complete tears are usually treated with surgery with recovery taking 3 to 6 months and sometime a year.
3. At MOR we have been involved in a national research study with 15 other hospitals studying these tears and their surgical outcomes. In addition, Dr. John Fernandez from our practice has designed a new technique to repair these injuries that has resulted in a faster return to play for active individuals. It is called the BAIB technique (button assisted internal brace) for SL reconstruction.
While we do not know which ligmanet was torn, it has been reported that Joe Burrow will require surgery. This means his time table to return will be anywhere from 3 to 6 months — or even up to a year.