Most know that Tiger Woods was in a single car accident in California, but as information becomes public about the injuries, there's some terms being used that are unfamiliar.

Tiger was extracted from the vehicle with "significant orthopaedic injuries to his right lower extremity," which later was clarified to be "comminuted open fractures." He was reported to have been taken immediately into surgery.

We spoke with Dr. Ryan Dunlay with ORA, who was able to explain the injury Tiger sustained, the procedure, and the road to recovery.

Dr. Dunlay explained that a comminuted fracture is when the bone is broken into more than two pieces, and it being an "open" fracture means that the skin was broken and the bone was exposed to the air. Tiger was reported to have multiple open fractures.

"Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia," said Mahajan, the chief medical officer and interim CEO at Harbor-UCLA, where Tiger is being treated. "Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins. Trauma to the muscle and soft-tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling."

Dr. Dunlay told us Tiger's surgeon also most likely gave him a fasciotomy, a procedure in which the skin, fat, and muscle are cut through to relieve pressure in the injured area.

Just as you'd imagine, Dr. Dunlay, who is an expert in sports medicine, said the chances of Tiger Woods playing a game of golf the way he would've a week ago are probably not in his favor.

We've found an X-Ray after the repair of a similar injury, which shows how the rod is attached as well as the screws.

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This X-Ray is obviously not Tiger Woods' leg, but it gives a good idea of what the repairs for this type of injury look like.

 

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