Understanding how Alex Smith’s infection happened, and how it can be cured – (News)

Understanding how Alex Smith’s infection happened, and how it can be cured –

Thursday’s news regarding the complications experienced by Washington quarterback Alex Smith has sparked significant concern for the person, and for his family.

For now, information will be scarce.

“I think the statement says it all,” coach Jay Gruden told reporters on Thursday, referring to the team’s statement requesting privacy on behalf of the family. “I was asked by Alex’s wife, his dad, his mom not to really go into any detail on this process. That’s to respect their privacy, and that’s what I’m going to do. I think when the time is right, Alex will address the media and we’ll go from there.”

Infections aren’t uncommon. An excellent description was published in 2013, regarding the infection issues affecting Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski‘s recovery from a broken arm. The infection typically comes not from the hardware used to stabilize the broken bone but from bacteria that enter the body during the initial surgical incision. In Smith’s case, if the skin was pierced by the broken tibia and/or fibula, the infection risk necessarily became much greater.

Various approaches can be used to eradicate the infection, up to and including removing the hardware and, in Smith’s case, possibly stabilizing the leg with external fixation techniques. Heavy doses of antibiotics also can be employed, up to an including an intravenous line that allows the medication to instantly enter the bloodstream.

As Gruden said, Smith will address the media when the time is right. For now, even in the absence of details, it’s obvious that this is a serious health situation, and that Smith needs support and, more importantly, excellent medical treatment and care.