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Injuries in English: Cleveland Browns WR Corey Coleman's broken hand

In his first "Injuries in English" column, Brandon Bowers gives us the perspective of a Doctor of Physical Therapy on the injuries plaguing the Browns...

It seems as if the only breaks the Cleveland Browns have caught this season have been broken bones, as rookie wide receiver,  Corey Coleman broke his right hand in practice on September 21st. The Browns drafted Coleman with the 15th overall selection in the 2016 NFL draft, only to have his rookie campaign put on hold by his recent hand injury. 

WHAT IS IT? A broken bone and a fractured bone are one in the same. Both terms refer to a crack in the bone or a bone that has been structurally compromised. Fractures can be classified into different categories based on what is revealed on x-ray; fracture types include stable, compound, comminuted, oblique and transverse. Bones are naturally strong structures, however, if subjected to enough stress in the correct mechanism, all bones are all subject to fracture. A broken hand will be painful and affect an individual's range of motion and strength of the hand as well as the ability to perform functional activities (football in this case). The degree of pain as well as range of motion and strength loss will vary from case to case based on severity and the individual. The Browns did not comment as to which bone was fractured. 

HOW IS IT FIXED? For Corey Coleman, the best medicine is going to be rest. In other cases, surgery may be indicated but the Browns rookie wide-out did not have to go under the knife. Bone healing time can vary based on the severity of a fracture as well as the bone that was injured. The Browns have put a 4-6 week timetable from the initial injury on Coleman's return, which is right on par with typical bone healing in the hand. In some cases during the resting phase a period of immobilization or casting is also warranted. While resting, it is important to maintain strength and range of motion in other joints throughout the arm such as the shoulder and elbow. Following the period of rest, efforts will be made in physical therapy to regain range of motion and strength of the muscles of the hand and wrist as to allow normal functioning to occur. Once evaluated by team medical staff, the individual will be allowed to gradually resume athletic activity.

MY TAKE. A broken bone in the hand of a wide receiver will certainly affect his ability to catch passes and play at the level he needs to compete in the NFL. The Browns did not offer much specificity as tov which bone in his hand Coleman broke and only noted they expected a 4-6 week recovery window. Barring any setbacks I presume Coleman will be able to return on schedule and contribute to the Browns' offense as the team had expected him to earlier this season.

Brandon Bowers, PT, DPT, is a graduate of the University of Toledo, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. He is an avid Cleveland sports fan and has experience rehabbing athletes of all levels and from a variety of sports. Follow Brandon on Twitter for more Indians injury insight and analysis: @blbowers12

The information provided is the professional opinion of Brandon Bowers, PT, DPT and is based on his clinical experience and the most current clinical evidence available. This information should not be interpreted as or substituted for medical advice for a specific condition or diagnosis.

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