Chris Bassitt suffered a broken jaw and cheekbone this week after being hit in the face by a ball traveling at 100 miles per hour. The Oakland Athletics starting pitcher was rushed to hospital after the accident, which took place during Tuesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox, but never lost consciousness according to reports, and is said to be doing well and awaiting surgery once swelling has subsided.
In a new video analyzing the footage of the incident, physical medicine and rehab specialist Dr. Brian Sutterer provides commentary and insight on Bassitt’s injury and its aftermath.
“They’re first going to be looking for, number one, is he conscious,” he says, “because as we’ve seen with other players getting struck in the head like this, you can suffer a very bad brain injury and have things like seizures and be unconscious.” The next thing they would have done, Sutterer explains, is check for any obvious eye injury or open fracture, given where Bassitt was hit. “Beyond trying to stop some of the bleeding, there’s not much you’re going to do for this on the field at that point,” he continues, “and so it’s a question of getting him safely off the field to where he can be properly evaluated for things like a fracture.”
He goes on to explain that Bassitt’s maxilla, the upper part of his jaw, is where he sustained the break. This connects to the zygomatic bone, and this whole area is what is commonly referred to as the cheekbone. Because the maxilla also forms the lower part of the orbital socket, medics would also be checking whether any of the muscles that control eye movement had been affected by the fracture. There will also have been concern over serious internal bleeding in Bassitt’s head from the middle meningeal artery.
“It’s really reassuring to hear that there’s no bleeding in the brain, he didn’t have any other significant injuries to the eye and his vision was not affected,” says Sutterer. “So great work by the White Sox and the As medical staffs, getting out there, evaluating him, making sure he’s safe, getting him off the field, and then getting him the prompt attention that he needs to get this treated.”
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