Post 122 – Fractured Vertebra knocks Brazilian star Neymar out of FIFA World Cup (with X-Ray Photo)

Like most Americans, I kept an eye on the World Cup while the USA team was in the initial rounds, then getting knocked out by Belgium last week. (oh, by the way, this is soccer – football for the non-Americans, in case you don’t know)…I even had a live video from the internet playing on the screen while students were in Anatomy lab. Can’t tell you how many people stopped by the room to check out the game (plus saying what a cool teacher my students have 🙂 ).

Soon after the daily news of the World Cup fizzled from our headlines, I was sad to see a video of a Columbian player, Juan Camilo Zúñiga went airborne on a loose ball and ended up driving his knee into the lower back of Neymar, who immediately crumpled to the turf in pain.

The Injury

Since this blog is mainly all about what this has to do with Anatomy (I know I’ve taken some liberties to add general medicine, microbiology and associated sciences in past posts), let’s talk about what happened here.

They said the injury is on the Lumbar 3 (L3) vertebra. You can see from the picture below that it looks like the spinous process has cracked from the lamina. This is painful! Remember that all of these processes are connected to muscles, many to the erector spinae set that keeps our backs straight.

I would imagine that he’ll be in a back brace to prevent some of these muscles from contracting. Keeping these muscles still will help in bone fusion, because that spinous process won’t move as much.

Team doctor says no surgery is needed. Recovery time is 2-6 months, based on various reports.

The Bleacher Report article goes into the anatomy of the injury a little bit.

Here’s the X-Ray, as I’ve seen in multiple posts. It’s incredible to see actual images of these injuries. It’s rare to see that, especially in the States, where we have those HIPPA laws.


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 (click to enlarge image below)


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