Aside from sounding like a really crappy knockoff of D&D, labrums and logins are the two subjects I wanted to address today. More specifically, I'm talking about John Carlson's labrum and everyone's Seahawk Addicts login.
I'll start with the last bit first. As some of you have already noticed, we experienced a technical glitch that prevented folks from logging in to the site. I first noticed it today and brought it to the attention of the Bloguin people (who promptly fixed the problem), but in all likelihood the problem has been there for a couple days. As it turns out, it's easy to miss details like that when you're doped to the gills on cold medicine. Who knew?
Okay, moving on. When Zach Miller was signed away from the Raiders, we heard a lot about how awesome it was going to be to have both him and John Carlson on the field at the same time. Unfortunately, half of that newfangled 1-2 TE punch has been spending a lot of time on the sideline as of late. Well, now we know what's going on, and it isn't good news: according to Pro Football Weekly, John Carlson has a "labrum injury."
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I know what you're thinking, "what's a labrum injury? I don't remember seeing the doctors on ER treat anything like that ." (Or maybe they did, I don't know -- I never liked ER1.) Well, I'm no doctor, but I read a novel once that had a doctor in it, so I'm pretty sure I'm qualified to tell you all you need to know about the labrum and how it gets hurt.
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, but it's kind of a crappy one. Unlike the hip, where the head of the socket portion of the pelvis grips about half of the ball end of the femur, the scapula doesn't do a whole heck of a lot to keep the head of the humerus in place. To compensate for the shallowness of the socket, there's a band of cartilage called the labrum that extends outward from the scapula a bit to help keep your arm bone in place2.
Cartliage has the benefit of being more flexible than bone, which allows the shoulder to have a wide range of movement, but the drawback is that it's more susceptible to injury. Land on your shoulder hard enough (like, say, after being tackled by an angry linebacker) and you run the risk of tearing that helpful cartilage band. A torn labrum not only hurts, it destabilizes and weakens the joint, making it especially difficult to do anything involving an overhead movement like catching a pass.
The end result of all this depends on whether or not the injury is serious enough to require surgery. If the damage to Carlson's labrum isn't too bad, it can be treated with rest and anti-inflammatories and he'll be back in four to six weeks. If it requires surgery to fix, he'll be looking at a recovery time of six months to a year. Here's hoping Carlson will be back sooner rather than later, but in the meantime I think I'll be paying a little more attention to Anthony McCoy and Dominique Byrd in the next preseason game, 'cause we'll probably be seeing more of them when the regular season gets underway.
1 I suppose I could've updated my reference a bit by saying Gray's Anatomy instead, but from what I understand those doctors are too busy sexually harrassing each other to treat much of anything, labrum or no. House doesn't work, 'cause he doesn't care about ordinary problems, and after that I've pretty much exhausted my mental rolodex of medical dramas. Maybe I just don't watch enough TV?
2 The Carroll Guide to Sports Injuries, by Dr. William Carroll.