Doctor says Romo's risk in playing is extremely small

Doctor says Romo's risk in playing is extremely small

Credit: WFAA

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo leaves the field in San Francisco for treatment after first half rib injury.

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on September 20, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 20 at 6:44 PM

Poll:
Should Tony Romo play in next Monday's game against the Redskins?

IRVING - The fact that quarterback Tony Romo was able to return to the game on Sunday was an early indication that he might be able to play in the Cowboys home opener versus the Redskins.

"I would not think there's any reason to think he won't be able to play Monday," said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. "We're certainly hopeful."
 
Romo showed unbelievable toughness to be able to return to the game. A fractured rib is one thing, but when the Cowboys released a statement saying there was also evidence of a pneumothorax, that sent up a red flag in the medical community.
 
"Pneumothorax is basically when the pressure gradient and the lung changes," said Dr. J. Scott Quinby, an orthopaedic surgeon at Baylor University Medical Center. "Your lungs expand based on negative pressure and if you lose that pressure gradient, the lung collapses."
 
Quinby said contrary to what some people believe, a re-injury would not pose a risk to Romo's life.
 
"For that to occur would be unprecedented," Quinby said. "Anything is possible, but the likelyhood is extremely small."
 
Without having direct knowledge of Romo's injury, Quinby said the rib will take more time heal, but the lung injury may only take a few days. If it's a small injury, the time is shorter.
 
"Yeah, it could be a matter of days for it to go away," Quinby said.
 
Which means Romo could play Monday without putting himself at even more risk.
 
"As long as he's able to function outside of competitive play at full capacity and is able to throw effectively, I think the sports community universally would think that it would be safe for him to return," Quinby said.
 
Of course, he wasn't the only doctor to weight in.

"As a trauma surgeon, I think it's probably safe to let him give it shot,"
said Dr. Alex Eastman from Parkland Memorial Hospital. "But as a Redskin fan, I think he needs to be out at least 18 weeks."
 
It sounds like the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry is still alive and well.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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