Tony Romo has a spine fracture, will he play?

MD Injury Report regular Dallas Cowboys’ QB, Tony Romo, suffered a cringe-worthy hit in Thursday’s NFL preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks that left Cowboys fans wondering about the fate of their season.  Romo suffered a compression fracture in his lumbar spine (low back) which can result in a variety of outcomes. Fortunately for Romo, his fracture was of the flexion mechanism variety, which is typically stable and does not require surgery. The key feature of these injuries are a fracture of the vertebral body of the spine which causes a shortening of the anterior (front) portion of the bone. A stable fracture refers to the fact that the bones stay in proper alignment and there are no loose fragments. We can further assume Romo’s fracture is stable since he has not undergone surgery. This is a good predictor that he is not having any nerve damage as the result of the fracture. Treatment includes stabilizing the spine externally with a brace for 6-12 weeks and a rehabilitation program with gradual return to physical activity.

Romos is no stranger to back injury as he previously underwent surgery for a lumbar herniated disc.

We predict that Romo will return to play in 11 weeks.

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