Will a lumbar spine fracture to Neymar’s transverse process be the sports injury to keep Brazil from the FIFA World Cup final? And which chiropractor will the team doctor send him to?
It was the biggest football (soccer) event in the world, two of the best teams in the world and the most talented player in the world. You can be at the peak of your profession, life or fitness but then suddenly something can make it all change in a moment. Remember that the constant thing in life is change. For the Brazilian playmaker Neymar Jnr, a challenge from the Colombian Juan Zuniga changed everything.
Watch the video at the bottom of this post or part way down this page here (different views). See if you agree with FIFA’s post game review founding there was no case for Juan Zuniga to answer for kneeing Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior in the lumbar spine. Some are calling it a world cup assassination, maybe not just for him, maybe for the whole Brazilian team. If you ever did martial arts you would recognise that was a very powerful knee into the back and with Neymar Jnr braced from receiving the ball, the impact was enough to fracture the transverse process of the 3rd lumbar vertebra. In the image above it is where the bone is brightest with a gap between those brightly showing parts of the spine (market with a thin horizontal white line). See here as to where the transverse processes are on vertebae.
Brazil Football team’s medical doctor, Dr Rodrigo Lasmar, has said it will take about 40-45 days to heal and whether Neymar will support the Brazil team if they get to the FIFA World Cup final depends on how much pain he is in. Dr Lasmar reported “It’s not serious in the sense that it doesn’t need surgery, but he’ll need to immobilise it to recover”. If he can sit and be moved then Neymar will be able to support his team mates should they get past Germany to the soccer World Cup final. Unfortunately, the mere fact that he won’t be playing with his Brazilian team mates means their chances to get there have dramatically slimmed. It will be a big turn around if he can do it because at the time of injury he lost the feeling to his legs. Follow this link to learn more about the process fracture healing.
The thing that isn’t being said at the moment is the other damage that happened to Neymar’s spine. As a chiropractor I know that when a force such as a fall, car accident or strike enters the spine, it affects the whole vertebra and not just the part that breaks or tears. So the Brazilian will have a sprain to the joints of the vertebra and maybe those around it and he might have some small tearing (microtears that would constitute a sprain) to the disc. So once the fracture is starting to strengthen then Neymar Jnr needs to be assessed by a chiropractor to make sure the vertabre will be functioning well again and not instead becoming a new liability for a future spinal injury.
If you are surprised by how simple it was for this fracture to occur, then you will be even more suprised about how many injuries are developed in people doing sport and getting fit simply because of poorly working mechanisms in their bodies. This could mean that a problem with your spine predisposes you to a sprain of the vertebral facet joints or a tear of the intervertebral disc, or a slight scoliosis could mean your shoulder moves without full control and induces a rotator cuff tear or tendonitis at least, and also even a pelvic rotation could hamper a sports person’s carrer with hamstring tears or other injuries to the leg. So apart from dramatic impact related injuries, you can still suffer a tournament or season ending injury similar to Brazil’s star player though constant wear and tear of poorly perfoming mechanisms in your body.
So make sure that you visit a chiropractor after an injury (sport, work or just being unlucky) to help negotiate the risk of knock on effects from that injury causing reduced performance somewhere else. Otherwise you will be left with a compensation in your body that can lay hidden for months or even decades before one day it resurfaces to take you out of the game. Hopefully it won’t be when you are on the verge of becoming world champion.