Two of Kerlan-Jobe’s sports medicine doctors weigh in on Chiefs QB Mahome’s high ankle injury and impact on his ability to perform at highest level in NFL playoffs.
The mere act of running creates a force on the ankle roughly 2½ times the person’s body weight, which in the case of Mahomes would be about 570 pounds.
“Most people with a high-ankle sprain need at least four to six weeks to recover from that,” said Dr. Daniel Kharrazi, sports medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles. “So the fact that [Mahomes has] done it in one week and was walking in his press conference is not common, let’s put it that way.”
Dr. Neal ElAttrache, team physician for the Rams, said it’s increasingly common to surgically repair high-ankle sprains. The challenge is not only the pain involved but the sensation of instability in the ankle that makes it difficult to play and can sometimes lead to longer-lasting dysfunction.
“When you have a little bit of instability in the ankle like that, you lose your ability to decelerate and suddenly twist or pivot,” ElAttrache said. “That’s why you saw that even when Mahomes was throwing, he almost wanted to lift his foot off the turf. He didn’t want to plant it and pivot on it. It was amazing, when he was throwing on the run, he would leave his feet to release the ball.”