October 27, 2015 4:13:48 pm
In an unusual case, a 38-year-old man in Ireland practicing a difficult yoga pose ended up in the hospital with a broken leg.
The man fractured the thighbone on his right leg while doing a difficult seated yoga pose known as Marichyasana posture B in his morning yoga class, according to a report of the man’s case published in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
The pose involves sitting down, with the knee bent and drawn up to the chest, and then bending the torso toward the floor.
When the man got into the position, he heard a loud cracking sound and felt enormous pain in his right femur (thighbone). The pain caused him to collapse on the ground and an ambulance took him to the hospital. X-rays showed he had a “low-energy femoral shaft fracture”, ‘Live Science’ reported.
The man’s right thigh bone was fractured about 4 inches above his knee joint, said Dr Andrew Moriarity, an orthopedic resident at St James’s Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, who treated the man and co-authored the case report.
Low-energy fractures can happen when a person engages in a twisting motion, or falls from a low height, Moriarity said.
Although yoga, an ancient Indian meditative practice, is considered a gentle mind-body practice, injuries can and do happen, especially as the activity’s popularity rises. Still, this type of fracture is extremely rare in a young, healthy person, and it’s even more unusual for it to occur due to yoga, researchers said in their case report.
At the time the man got hurt, in 2014, he had been practicing yoga for two years. At the time of his injury, the man was practicing Ashtanga yoga, a physically demanding style, for an hour every morning. Two weeks before the fracture occurred, the man felt a dull pain in his right thigh. He sought advice about the problem from a physical therapist, who diagnosed it as a muscle strain in the man’s quadriceps, telling him he could return to yoga. That probably wasn’t a good idea, Moriarity said.
“The pain he felt in his thigh was likely a stress fracture, a warning of impending fracture if he continued to apply stress to this area,” Moriarity said.
To treat his femoral shaft fracture, the man needed surgery to insert a titanium rod inside his thighbone, which would allow him to walk safely.
The reason this man sustained such a rare injury from practicing yoga, Moriarity said, “was likely due to repetitive stress on the thighbone, combined with a weakened bone state, known as osteopenia.” A bone scan taken at the hospital showed that the man did indeed have osteopenia, a condition in which his bone density was lower than normal, which could increase his risk for low-energy fractures, Moriarity said.
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