The most violent game on planet Earth is football. Men charge full speed into otherrs with little regard for the violent impact nor the consideration of past injuries. It’s amazing more football players aren’t injured throughout the year with something as major as a torn ruptured spleen.
Ask Al Harris or Chris Simms about the prospect of coming back from this injury. Al Harris was diagnosed with a ruptured spleen this week and his prospects of a quick recovery are non-existent. Al Harris injured his spleen during a tackle, while Chris Simms injured his while being tackled.
What is the spleen? The spleen is one of the more interesting organs in the human body. You don’t need one to live. While some studies show it increases the risk of infection, most people with a spleen live productive lives. The function of the spleen is to trash old red blood cells and to hold a reservoir of blood that the body can draw upon if needed. It’s located on your left side, right under your rib cage.
How do you rupture a spleen? In 90% of the cases a ruptured spleen is caused by blunt force trauma. The spleen is impacted and either tears or pops. Pops is probably the wrong word, but the force of the trauma forces pressure into the sponge like material leading to an injury.
What are the symptoms of a ruptured spleen? You’re going to feel pain and tenderness in the area of your spleen. At first, you’re not going to notice any changes in your skin.As time goes on, though, you’ll start to see bruising. If there is significant damage your spleen will start to bleed internally. When this happens your blood pressure will drop leading to light headedness or even fainting.
How do you treat a ruptured spleen? Only a doctor can determine if you have a torn or ruptured spleen. This is accomplished by physical examination and a soft tissue scan such as an MRI. If it turns out your spleen is ruptured, the doctor will grade the injury. For less severe injuries no further treatment is necessary besides rest. For more severe injuries the spleen will have to be removed in a procedure called splenectomy.
How long does it take to recover from a ruptured spleen? If you’re Chris Simms you’ll never recover. Ok, that was a cheap shot. In all cases you need to quit any laborious physical activity. For minor ruptured spleens without surgery it’s going to be a couple of weeks. For surgical interventions it’ll be a few months.