Sports medicine experts break down Rodgers’ shoulder injury

Published: Oct. 16, 2017 at 4:48 PM CDT
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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers may be out for the rest of the season.

Monday afternoon, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy announced Rodgers will have surgery on his broken collarbone, sustained during Sunday’s Packers-Vikings game.

After that, Rodgers’ road to recovery will likely include weeks of rest and strength build up – all to get his throwing arm back to a full range of motion.

“The options would be the same if it was you, or the top quarterback in the NFL,” says Dr. Harold Schock , an orthopedic surgeon at Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine. “The treatment options would be the same.”

The doctors Action 2 News spoke to have not treated Rodgers or seen his injury. They say every injury is different, and that treatment depends on specifics.

“Typically treatment for clavicle fractures comes down to how much the bone is actually displaced. If the bone is not displaced, typically it can heal without surgery,” Dr. Schock says. “If the bone is completely displaced, then typically we do surgery to fix it.”

Because Rodgers is having surgery, he could be looking at a recovery length of at least eight weeks.

Back in 2013, Rodgers was out for seven games, when he broke his left collarbone. But this time around, the injury is to his throwing shoulder.

“You have to consider whether or not it's a throwing shoulder or a non-throwing shoulder,” says Rebecca Donnay, a physical therapist at Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine. “Throwing shoulder takes a little bit longer to heal, as we have to restore the strength needed to throw quickly.”

Experts say Rodgers’ physical therapy will likely begin after several weeks of rest, starting by strengthening the muscles.

“First we need to make sure the muscles are strong enough that they could actually throw a ball,” Donnay says. “So everything starts out without a ball in hand, making sure that they can lift their arm and they're strong enough to do so. And then they would progress to a throwing phase.”

Experts say between weeks eight and 12 of recovery Rodgers could be getting back to full throwing range, but likely still won’t be ready for active, contact play.