Breaking Down Redskins’ Quarterback, Kirk Cousin’s, Foot Injury
In the Redskins victory over the Steelers on Monday night, the Redskins’ fan base held their collective breaths as Kirk Cousins limped off the field with an apparent foot and/or ankle injury. Plain radiographs (x-rays) revealed no fracture and a magnetic resonance image revealed no significant soft tissue damage. The Redskins called the injury “a mild mid-foot sprain after the game.” This type of injury can occur when the top of the foot is stepped on as you are moving (creating a twisting of the mid foot) or having someone or something fall on the back of your leg as your foot is plantar flexed (creating an axial compression of the metatarsal bones on the tarsal bones in your mid foot).
Ligaments are a fibrous tissue that connects one bone to another. In the foot, there are extensive and complex ligaments tying all the bones together. So a seemingly minor ligament injury in one area of the foot can and will affect other areas of the foot including the ankle and up the leg to the knee, hip and even the lower back.
To determine the severity of a ligament injury, we use a grading system. A grade 1 (mild) ligament sprain involves stretching of the ligament where there is tolerable pain and mild swelling. A grade 2 (moderate) ligament sprain involves minor to severe tearing of the ligament which is accompanied by a moderate amount of pain, usually a moderate amount swelling and significant bruising. Finally, a grade 3 (severe) ligament sprain involves a complete tear of the ligament accompanied by significant amounts of pain, significant swelling and discoloration and even a feeling of instability or giving way.
We must thank our lucky stars that Kirk wasn’t injured more than he was, because it could have been much, much worse. According to the Redskins’ initial report of a mild mid-foot sprain, we can assume Kirk will be treated with a standard RICE protocol: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation to help reduce swelling and pain. He may be put on crutches for a few days to help the injured ligaments heal appropriately. Anti-inflammatory medication can help alleviate some pain and swelling as well. Once pain and swelling have reduced to the point where Kirk can fully bear weight on his foot, he can return to light activity and progress to more functional activities with the team. If the report from Redskins Park is accurate, we can expect Kirk to make a full recovery from this injury within a couple of weeks and help lead the Redskins to a Superbowl victory!!