MOS Injury Insight: Nick Foles Collar Bone Fracture
On Sunday, September 8, QB Nick Foles threw a 42-yard touchdown in his debut for the Jacksonville Jaguars. While the ball was still in the air, KC Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones was landing on the left (non-throwing) shoulder of the former Philadelphia Eagles QB. This contact resulted in a clavicle (or collar bone) fracture, and Foles was placed on injured reserved in the following day, just before having surgery.
Clavicle fractures are prevalent injuries in contact sports, accounting for up to 10% of fractures in this context. The collar bone is prone to fractures because it is located just below the skin, and because it is the only bone that connects the upper extremity to the spine. Although most clavicle fractures can be treated without surgery, operative treatment, in general, achieves a more reliable outcome, promotes faster healing, and leads to an expedited return to play. This is probably the reason why Nick Foles had surgery on the very next day after his injury.
Commonly, operative fixation of clavicle fractures do well, and the vast majority of the NFL players will return to the game in about 7 to 8 weeks. Recent data in the NFL population showed an average of return to play of 53 days after the surgery. This is very close to the minimum time allowed by NFL rule for this lesion that is 8 weeks. Since the fracture took place on Nick Foles non-dominant shoulder, he should achieve the same performance after his return.