Wausau orthopedist explains collarbone break, recovery as Aaron Rodgers faces surgerySubmitted: 10/16/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director

Wausau orthopedist explains collarbone break, recovery as Aaron Rodgers faces surgery
Photos By Courtesy: Fox Sports

WAUSAU - Packers fans waited for good news Monday and didn't get it.  Head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that Aaron Rodgers will need surgery and could miss the rest of the season.

"Potentially, his season could be over," McCarthy said during his Monday afternoon press conference.

Rodgers broke his collarbone about eight minutes into a loss in Minnesota on Sunday.  It's an injury Dr. Jim Messerly knew didn't look good when he saw the replays.

"It's a pretty painful injury," Messerly said.

Messerly has treated two soccer players out of his office in Wausau's Bone and Joint Center this fall for broken collarbones. He says most collarbone injuries don't happen from direct hits. Instead, a compression usually causes a break.

"That then caused the forces to be driven from the outer part of the shoulder inward," Messerly said of the hit Rodgers took from Anthony Barr.

Messerly first thought Rodgers' injury might be a shoulder separation, which damages the socket. He -- along with most Packers fans -- hoped the clavicle bone break didn't overlap.

"Basically not displaced, which is the best way to have it. It should heal with time."

But McCarthy basically told reporters the bone did overlap, without specifically saying it.

"Aaron Rodgers suffered a significant injury in the game. He will require surgery," McCarthy said.

Messerly says doctors only tend to operate if the bone can't line up property on its own. He says an operation pushes the recovery window from as few as six weeks up to 12.  That would push Rodgers' return into early January.

"If you push that envelope too much and you have a repeat fracture of that bone, then you've got a nightmare, especially if that one displaces," Messerly said.

Messerly expects doctors to monitor rodgers' recovery through X-rays, looking for callouses to form around the fracture, and potentially using bone stimulators. But Messerly says ultimately there's one thing Rodgers and all of us can do: wait.

"It does just take time for it to heal," Messerly said.

Monday, the Packers activated quarterback Joe Callahan from the practice squad. McCarthy said the Packers are locked into Brett Hundley as their quarterback and are getting ready to play the Saints on Sunday.

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