Will Romo play Sunday?



This was a comment from the post Dallas Cowboys News and Notes: Winter is Coming by One.Cool.Customer

The Eagles are catching some ridiculous breaks.

It is difficult to determine if they are playing better, as Philadelphia has been getting unbelievably lucky as of late. Besides the horrendous calls by the referees yesterday and the week before against Arizona, there is much going in their direction:

Playing the Packers without Rodgers (or Flynn).
Palmer getting injured in the first series last week.
Playing a dome team in a driving snow storm (was it 7 fumbled snaps?).
Likely playing the Vikings without Adrian Peterson.

It should not take long until the Eagles are dubbed a team of destiny. Hopefully, that week 17 game will be for the division title AND the Cowboys will be relatively healthy.

by ScarletO on Dec 9, 2013 | 6:39 AM

Add playing the final game of the regular season against a Cowboys team with a severely injured Tony Romo or fielding Kyle Orton behind center. The list of ignominious breaks Philadelphia is receiving is unlike anything in recent history.

But if Matt Cassel can defeat the Eagles without Adrian Peterson, how glorious would it be to see Kyle Orton beat Philadelphia with DeMarco Murray?

But will it be Kyle Orton?

Here is what happened, is happening, and will happen to Romo before Sunday:

On Sunday in the nation's capitol, Tony Romo feigned right, spun to his left and was tripped up slightly by a defender which forced Romo to bend over through the waist and back while rotating slightly to regain his balance. Tony struggled to stand erect, walk and move normally following the injury.

To many it appeared to be a leg injury. The contortion that Romo executed to remain on his feet, however, is the characteristic movement people report when herniating a lumbar disc. Bending forward (flexion) and rotation of the spine exposes the weakest portion of the lumbar discs.

The posterior lateral aspect of the annulus, or outer ring of the disc is the weakest portion of the structure containing the nucleus (or gelatinous middle) of the disc. When an individual moves into flexion and rotation, the posterior lateral part of the disc is weakened and prone to permit the nucleus to herniate under pressure.



It would not be surprising if Romo suffered a herniated disc from the mechanism of injury observed on Sunday. An MRI performed this morning would show the nucleus of the disc bulging from its normally contained area.



Romo may be suffering radiating symptoms into one lower extremity. Occasionally, a person may experience symptoms in both legs, but it is rare. Tony may also be experiencing axial back pain, or pain that is just in the back. Considering that there are reports that he is a candidate for surgery, however, Romo likely has leg symptoms.

What will determine if Romo can play on Sunday night at 7:30 in Arlington against the Eagles are his leg symptoms. Tony should be undergoing physical therapy consisting of directional preference. Directional preference has been shown by the latest research to be the most effective treatment in acute disc herniations.

If the symptoms in Romo's leg abate through directional preference therapy, he will play on Sunday. If Tony's symptoms do not dissipate, he has roughly an 85% chance of requiring surgery to correct the derangement.

The specifics of Tony's lower extremity symptoms are also important. Pain is never good, but it is much preferable to have pain in the leg than weakness. Weakness in the leg will immediately rule Romo out and lead to very rapid surgery if Tony is unable to reduce his leg symptoms.

Between now and Friday, Romo will receive a lot of therapy in an effort to centralize his symptoms from his leg into his spine. Tony will also be receiving palliative treatments to reduce the amount of pain and discomfort he is experiencing. While an injection to the lumbar spine may be included, the research shows that the effects of the cortisone are temporary at best.

Romo cannot do much further damage if he has herniated his lumbar disc, has leg pain that does not centralize in the absence of weakness and chooses to play against Philadelphia. In that case he will need surgery, and regardless of what happens as a consequence of the game, he will require surgery afterwards. This simple fact is very similar to the situation he faced in the game against Washington after suffering a pneumothorax at San Francisco the week before.

While Tony surely struggled to breath due to pain and swelling in his thorax when he played against the Redskins in 2011, he will be battling terrible pain that will limit his movements and function if he chooses to play against the Eagles. If he can withstand the horrendous onslaught of pain, he can play (as long as there is no leg weakness that develops).

Such an effort would be super human. Somehow, it would not be surprising if Romo would summon the toughness necessary to play. Conversely, it would be completely understandable if he succumbed to the pain.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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