Brace yourself for the most memorable injuries of an AT’s career

Here’s the thing with athletic trainers–they’ve seen a LOT of injuries. In 2022 alone, the athletic trainers on Go4 were responsible for 1.1 million patients. So when a specific injury is committed to memory, you know it was life-threatening, weird or just plain old nasty. 

Check out this list of the “Most Memorable Injury of your Career, from the good ole’ folks on #attwitter: 

@daven_short: My mountain bike coach crashed on the trails and landed on a rock. Extensor musculature and fascia came out to say hello! 14 internal and 12 external stitches. (slightly graphic evidence)

@SportsMedicAT: Cardiac Arrest, femur fx, 3 Tib/Fib with 2 compound, spinal cord contusion, over 140 stitches to lower leg from a FB back pad that was fun! I could probably come up with some more fun ones. Cardiac trumps all for me

@KPWarriorsAT: I’ve got a few here over the years, but a few of my more memorable ones were two tib-fib fx’s and a tib tuberosity avulsion. And there’s still so much more room on the Wall of Pain for more submissions. (check out the x-rays)

@Tuttlesportsmed: Laceration of thigh caused by twisted steak knife in soccer field. I was a student AT covering soccer. 40 stitches and staples needed to close.

@tinaaturner: *This. Just this.* (nasty break)

@daabeard: Doing CPR on a high school basketball referee. Never forget the feeling of breaking ribs.

@BreannBooher: Compound Ankle Dislocation of a pole vaulter. 27 minute EMS response time that day due to multiple other EMS calls in the area (very graphic image!)

@nathanparrott: Closed compound of forearm, and athlete that tore ACL, MCL, PCL, both meniscus

@JimHulmeLookout: Neck and back pain

@Tuttlesportsmed: Also, football player with a stroke during football game. Clot dissected from carotid.

@MarkdATC: Watching a wrist touch the elbow of the same arm. FOOSH!!!

@LigamentWA: My own dislocated patella

@MarkDoughty21: Seen quite a few memorable ones, but the tibial compound fracture stands out

@brianlcoley: In my 30 year career I have had two femur fractures in back to back years and a hip dislocation!

@leanderwalker: Long Jump Femur fx. So loud it started the 200M. 24 teams, thousands of fans. Starter was so confused bc he hadn’t fired the gun, fired twice signaling a restart…then we heard screaming from the long jump pit. Perfect timing.

@MsPtheATC: Fractured skull. Fracture femur on a VB player. Orbital fx on a baseball coach.  Dislocated hip.

@ramssportsmed: Hangman’s Fracture

@TiffisTallis: Squished fingers from a hydraulic press

@stricklandJw3: Displaced Tib-fib fracture

@atc_julie: The biggest one is a hip dislocation in a football player.

@jamimayberry: Being told by a coaching staff that this was a dislocated knee and not a femoral break. (Taken with permission from 2016.)

@amber_vicic: Ankle dislocation with tib/fib fx at freshman football game

@amandashaw1324: First year certified, shot put to the back of the head with skull fx.

@MonroeCentralAT: Compound Dislocated Ankle! (check out the x-ray)

@keen_zack: 95+ mph baseball to the jaw. That sound will echo into eternity.

@Erks_AT: Non contact Femur fracture.  Watched it as it happened, Sounded like a gun shot .

@RobinBerghoff23: Tib/Fib fracture (x-ray here)

@AUGoalie14: An injury I’ll never forget is a opposing rugby team coming over for a riped ear like the top part torn apart and a small part was hanging on. Me and my preceptor agreed that they need to go in and get stitched up lol.

@mzzz_kirk: There’s two. A displaced femoral fracture and open dislocation of all 5 MCP joints.

@talklisteninsp: Femur fracture from a triple jumper

@mnhopper1s: Where to begin? Ankle Fracture/dislocation, multiple tib-fib fractures in football, C5 fracture, baseball bat to the jaw. I’ve seen so many things in my short career already! #ATTwitter

@denny_atc: Tib fib fx or Achilles rupture. The pop was literally textbook. Ppl thought it was a gunshot.

@BaderEvan: My first two weeks on the job, it was Halloween, a full moon that night, I had a JV football game where one of my kids had a distal femur fracture.

@marikateosh: My first EMS activation: varsity football player with a tib/fib fx at an away game over an hour away from home.

@bpsnyder35: Dislocated hip at a middle school track meet. Girl fell over the hurdles

@purnie5: When a cheerleader fractured her tib/fib after leg whipping over another girl’s head during a full. In addition to the fracture, the girl she hit was facing away and had whiplash and a concussion as a result.

@BLC_ATC: Open ankle fracture dislocation as a result of jumping a 10 ft fence.

@HennesseyChad: Was a big injury in a big game that we should’ve won… #GoCanes (yikes, big hit)

@jessilauren311: What we were hoping was only a dislocated patella turned out to be torn menisci, MCL torn off at both ends, ACL tear, MPFL and ITB sprain.

@ypomps13: Javelin thru the quad was mind blowing. Wish i had a cell phone with a camera back in the 1990’s!

@cjhess1: My 1st EMS call. Evaluating a girl for a torn ACL on the sideline, another girl starts to have a seizure in the middle of the field. About a 15 minute response time from the ambulance felt like a life time.

@24JJ13: First few months in I was still playing softball in college (thanks covid). One of my coaches took a line drive to the nose in the cage. We didn’t have an AT with us, so I got to step in and had to play the double header with my no-longer-white sock covered in athletic tape.

@TigerAT14: Hockey skate across the temple and side of head during a game

@cwarren_atc: First few months as a GA and a Men’s Soccer athlete of mine was chasing down an opponent during a game and the back swing while running of the kid’s cleat with a metal tip punctured a hole in his nose and leaving him with a concussion as well

@jordynamara23: Tibial plateau fracture. Kid was goofing around in the stands at a basketball game, jumped down from one level of bleachers to the lower one and smashed his Tibia into the seat in front of him. Palpable deformity and NWB. Had surgery the same week

@RtaylorATC: Saw someone get scalped by a discus my freshman year of high school.

@4symbols78: Lacerated spleen &  liver

@JCole_024: Os Acromiale as a student. Good case study.