On the fateful day of February 3, the San Miguel Beermen’s practice facility fell silent. After going for an open, uncontested layup, the six time MVP Junemar Fajardo crumpled to the floor. The tension in the air was palpable, as there was a deafening snap at the moment of impact. He was rushed to the hospital, and diagnostics revealed a fractured right tibia. He underwent surgery the day after, and was deemed out for the whole season.
It’s a known fact that Junemar suffered a stress fracture on his tibia back in 2015. A month’s rest did wonders for the big man, as the pain he was feeling at the time subsided and he was back to playing at a high level. Five years later, Junemar would take an extended vacation after the Governor’s Cup. Yet somehow he would be afflicted with a worse injury on the same leg.
The tibia, more commonly known as the shin bone, is the second-largest bone in the body. It is connected to the femur (thigh bone) via the knee joint and the foot via the ankle joint. The lower leg is completed by the fibula, a much thinner bone.
The tibia can be fractured due to high impact, and this determines how the bone breaks. In this case, it is a displaced fracture, meaning the bone was displaced after the injury pulling it out of alignment. The impact was between the downward force of Junemar’s weight, and the upward resistance of the floor.
Simply put, his shin bone couldn’t bear the weight of the rest of Junemar anymore, and so it snapped.
Displaced fractures tend to tear through skin, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Repairing as much of the damaged tissue is crucial for the full recovery of his leg.
The injury was repaired through surgery. It can be done by putting a rod through the length of the tibia held together by screws (intramedullary nailing), plates and screws holding the two broken pieces together, or pins and screws holding the bone together with a metal bar outside the skin (internal fixation).
Like a cast, the screws hold the repaired bone in place to ensure it heals correctly. This gives him the best chance of making a complete recovery.
Usually, a fracture like this can take up to six months to heal, and involves a lot of rehabilitation. Putting weight on the affected leg would be painful at first, but can be done gradually over time.
Hopefully, the Kraken will get back on his feet and return to the court stronger than ever.