Every football lover would surely have been moved to tears while watching poor Andre Gomes of Everton writhing in pain at the weekend against Tottenham Hotspur FC.

The 26-year-old Portuguese footballer suffered a fracture-dislocation to his right ankle after a tackle from Son Heung-min.

But, what really is a fracture-dislocation?

American nonprofit academic medical centre, Mayo Clinic, described it as an injury to a joint in which the ends of the bones are forced from their normal positions. The symptoms show that a dislocated joint is: visibly deformed or out of place, swollen or discolored, intensely painful, and immovable.

Unlike for regular injuries, the medics took an awful lot of time before taking the player off and for good reason. The medical team had to follow the guidelines outlined by the Western Australian Department of Health: First, they had to control any bleeding and cover any wounds. They then had to check for any fractures whether open, closed or complicated with the patient required to remain still all through. The next critical point was to “immobilise” the fracture by using broad bandages to stop movement at the joints above and below the fracture.

The limbs had to be supported by cautiously passing the broad bandages under the empty spaces of the body (that resulted from the fracture). The injured limb would then be supported with a thin strip of wood to secure it firmly. The medics would then confirm (on a 15-minute basis) that the bandages are neither too tight nor too loose so that blood circulates to the hands and feet. After that, it is off to the waiting ambulance.

There is really no time frame for the player’s return. Health practitioners say it ranges from weeks to months (sometimes even a year).

When a similar fracture-dislocation happened to Arsenal FC’s Aaron Ramsey on February 27, 2010, the player did not resume “light training” until October and did not feature in a football match until November 23, albeit for the Arsenal reserve team against Wolves.

The effects could still be seen after his supposed “recovery” with the player having to wait until 2013 before he could reach anywhere close to the form he had before the injury.

According to the Western Australian Department of Health, some of the complications that Gomes could face as a result of this nasty injury are: tearing of the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that reinforce the injured joint; nerve or blood vessel damage in or around the joint; and development of arthritis in the affected joint as the sufferer ages.

While update on the player’s injury is being awaited, Gomes can take solace in Demba Ba’s similar scenario where, after nine months out with a fracture-dislocation, the burly Senegalese scored a consolation goal for Besiktas in a 3-1 loss to Istanbul Basaksehir.

Hopefully, this tragedy has a happy ending for Gomes, Everton, and the culprit Son Heung-min who teammate, Dele Alli described as “dejected” and seen “crying” in the dressing room after the incident.

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