Yankees’ Chavez Will Have a Shorter Time on the Bench Thanks to Correct Diagnosis of a Bone Bruise

Ohio’s Major League Baseball team, the Cleveland Indians, will not be facing the Yankees until July, but many fans staying updated on the future opponent may have heard about an interesting injury of Eric Chavez, the team’s backup third baseman.

On May 5thwhile running the bases, Chavez began limping and was helped off the field to get x-rays.  The initial diagnosis by the Yankee’s team doctor was a small fracture of the 5th metatarsal of the left foot.  However, this week, it was discovered that Chavez’s bone was not broken, but he had suffered a less severe injury called a bone bruise.

People may not be aware that you can bruise the outer lining of bone, the periosteum, resulting in a periosteal bruise.  A bone bruise can also be called a stone bruise, because patients will often describe it feeling as if they are stepping on a pebble or small stone every time they put pressure on the affected area of the foot.  A bone bruise, periosteal bruise & stone bruiseare all describing the same injury in which there is a trauma that damages this superficial bone layer and the blood vessels coursing through it that supply nutrients to the bone cells.  In many cases, including Chavez’s, the trauma is simply an excess of pressure hitting the bone while running.  Underlying causes of this excess pressure on the foot can be from overtraining, underlying bony deformities such as metatarsalgia, or flat foot, the wrong type of athletic shoes, or shoes that are worn out.

Bone bruises should be treated to reduce the inflammation of the area which can often be swollen, tender, and painful.  Resting the affected area, icing it and possibly taking anti-inflammatory medication are all recommended as part of a successful treatment regimen.  Patients should consult with their podiatrist to ensure the most appropriate route of treatment depending on the severity of the bruise.  It is also important to eliminate the cause of the excess pressure before returning to activities.  This may be done by getting custom athletic orthotics, new shoes, or surgery in cases with severe underlying foot deformities.

Luckily for Chavez, it seems as though the Yankees had him consult with a podiatrist and the team physician to obtain an accurate diagnosis.  It is always great news for any athlete to discover that an injury is less severe than initially believed, and that their shorter recovery period will allow them to get back in the game at an earlier date!

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia