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Becca_H
05-06-2014, 11:28 PM
Okay so I have a character (ice hockey player) who I need to injure on the ice. Idealistically, I need the injury to be:

- Serious, but not so serious that it interferes with the rest of the plot (off-ice).
- Something that causes doctors to say "You may never play hockey again."
- Heals in 3-5 months (or at least, allows the player to play one or two competitive games after that time).

If that combination isn't possible, then something that has a long recovery time (1 year or longer) but still enables the player to return to the ice after a few months (miraculous, quicker-than-average recovery).

I was going to go for a broken leg, but that doesn't fulfill criterion two. Or can it?

Is there anything available that I can use, or should I opt for the leg?

asroc
05-06-2014, 11:37 PM
Knee. Very commonly injured in hockey, can be complicated to fix.

mirandashell
05-06-2014, 11:46 PM
I agree with knee. Having damaged one of my own, it will heal enough for your character to do what he needs to do but will hurt for years. And can be prone to collapse at unexpected moments.

sheadakota
05-06-2014, 11:47 PM
Yup Knee- torn ACL ( anterior cruciating ligament)

Dislocated knee cap- if this is a recurrent injury it can prevent him from playing due to instability of the knee.

Ruptured Achilles tendon- very career ending-

or something non orthopedic- detached retina- continued play could cause him to become permanently blind in that eye

CEtchison
05-07-2014, 12:57 AM
You could have your player suffer from A-Fib a la Rich Peverley.

http://www.sportsgrid.com/nhl/bad-day-in-the-nhl-sports-world-reacts-after-stars-rich-peverley-collapses-during-game-is-rushed-to-hospital/

ETA: If you're unfamiliar with this story, his A-Fib was discovered in the preseason and they did a procedure to shock his heart into a normal rhythm and then used medication to maintain that rhythm until he could have a procedure that would be for the long-term. After he suffered a cardiac arrest on the bench he had the procedure instead of waiting until the offseason. Within weeks he was on the ice, taking shots on the goalie during practices, but was wearing a monitor and not allowed to increase his heart rate past a certain point. It is uncertain if he will return to play next fall, but he's going to give it a shot.

MDSchafer
05-07-2014, 12:57 AM
You can always go with a brake to the wrist. When I was playing youth hockey I lost my glove at one point and someone's stick came down across my wrist and fractured my scaphoid and radius on my nondominate hand. Since it was my left I could still do all my ADLs and whatnot. I do remember being told that depending on the tendon damage I might never be able to play hockey again.

slhuang
05-07-2014, 01:17 AM
I knew someone who was being drafted by the NHL when he tore his ACL. He never played hockey again. I don't know if that's just because he couldn't play at the level of competitiveness he'd previously been at, or because he couldn't play, period.

He appeared fine physically by the time I knew him, which was several years out. I can't remember what he said his recovery time was, but I think it was on somewhere on the "months" time scale. Anyway, worth looking up.

I've had serious RSI issues crop up related to sports (carpal tunnel, cupital tunnel, sciatica, tendonitis, and hairline fractures, all at different times and related to different things). RSI-related injuries can be INCREDIBLY painful and debilitating, and of the "if you don't lay off you'll permanently injure yourself" variety. They are also highly fudgeable for fiction purposes because there's so much variation. ;)

cornflake
05-07-2014, 08:45 AM
Knee issues are fairly common and often fixable, so it'd have to be pretty severe for the 'may never play again,' thing.

The first thing I thought of when I read your post was Bryan Berard - he was clipped with a stick in the eye just so, and it took an amazing amount of perseverance and medical expertise for him to play again. I'm sure you can find a few stories about it.

Becca_H
05-07-2014, 09:57 PM
Thanks for your replies everyone :) You've all been really helpful. My Googling of these suggestions leads me to believe a torn ACL will be a perfect fit for what I need.

waylander
05-08-2014, 12:11 AM
I have a ruptured ACL which has not been fixed and I cope pretty well so long as I don't try to ski or bowl (cricket).
PM me if you have any questions.

Laina1312
05-08-2014, 03:53 AM
I knew a guy who broke his collarbone twice in two years getting slammed into the boards. That was like... well, we were like 12.

I also know a girl who motocrosses professionally and she's off right now. After flipping a quad a few years ago and having it come down on her and give her brain damage and put her in a coma for like three days, mind you, she rips up her ACL. She's been off for like 6-7 months because of delays in getting surgery and it was debateable if she could race again. She thinks she might be able to in August and she just had surgery a couple weeks ago.

When she first did it, she was on crutches for three months. She was too damaged at first for surgery and had like two "fibres" on her ACL. She was classified as a partial ACL tear and this surger didn't do any ACL work. It cleaned up her MCL and cleaned out scar tissues and junk. Apparently half her ACL reconnected so she has half an ACL now.

She actually busted up both knees, though, but one's healed better. And we're in Canada so surgery waits suck.

I'm sorry I'm rambly!!

Phyllo
05-08-2014, 08:13 AM
Wow, too bad I didn't see this earlier. No hockey injury is currently more topical, controversial and mysterious than concussions.

Several top players have retired as a result of concussions, including both Lindros brothers. Meanwhile others come back in top form, but always at risk of ending their career with the next hit they take (for example, Sidney Crosby).

Recovery time can be as long as you, the author, want (days, weeks, months, years), yet off-ice your character can fully function. Crosby was able to practice for a long time before he could return to full contact.

cornflake
05-08-2014, 09:47 AM
Wow, too bad I didn't see this earlier. No hockey injury is currently more topical, controversial and mysterious than concussions.

Several top players have retired as a result of concussions, including both Lindros brothers. Meanwhile others come back in top form, but always at risk of ending their career with the next hit they take (for example, Sidney Crosby).

Recovery time can be as long as you, the author, want (days, weeks, months, years), yet off-ice your character can fully function. Crosby was able to practice for a long time before he could return to full contact.

He was able to practice after he recovered, and they're being careful with him, for obvious reasons.

With players where returning has been a question or it's killed a career, it absolutely affects them off-ice. Headaches, confusion, problems with vision, nausea, memory, depression, etc., are all symptoms of concussion, and more prevalent with multiple concussions.

If a player doesn't come back or might not, it's been because it's been a series. Lindros, Richter, LaFontaine, etc., etc., took years to get back to "normal," or some semblance thereof. I'm just saying because the OP said it shouldn't affect them off-ice and that seems really unlikely to me.