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Cade McNown, Quarterback for the Chicago Bears

By
WebMD Feature

NAME: Cade McNown
TEAM:
Chicago Bears
POSITION:
Quarterback
INJURY: Separated shoulder (left side)

OTHER ATHLETES AFFECTED

Many pro athletes have all sorts of banged up shoulders lately. Here is a rundown on who is suffering specifically from a separated shoulder.

Hockey

Right wing Jody Hull of the Philadelphia Flyers

Football

Quarterback Rob Johnson of the Buffalo Bills
Running back Reuben Droughns of the Detroit Lions
Running back Marshall Faulk of the St. Louis Rams

PLAYER BIO

The 23-year-old McNown is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 208 pounds. This is his second season with Chicago. He was drafted fifth overall, the highest passer the Bears had drafted since Jim McMahon, 17 years ago. McNown spent his first three years of secondary school at Benito High in Holliser, Calif. He went all-conference in his sophomore and junior years, then played his senior year at West Linn High School in Oregon. There, he also was a track star, setting the school's pole vault record at 15 feet 2 inches. He headed to UCLA for college ball, where he was selected for all-state and all-American as a quarterback and as a safety.

HOW IT HAPPENED TO MCNOWN

On Oct. 22, four plays into the second quarter, McNown found himself trying to evade the Eagles' defense at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium. But before he could slip out of bounds, Eagle linebacker Mike Caldwell brought him down hard, slamming him to the fake turf, which is notoriously unforgiving. (The Associated Press reports that the surface in Philadelphia has long been regarded as the worst in the NFL. Some in Chicago have likened it to asphalt.) McNown landed on his throwing shoulder, with the tackler's weight on him.

WHAT'S INVOLVED IN TREATING A SEPARATED SHOULDER

In a healthy shoulder, ligaments hold the collarbone and shoulder blade together the way bungee cords hold luggage to the top of a station wagon. Those connectors can tear, however, especially when the shoulder takes a direct hit. Ligament damage allows the collarbone to come bulging off, or separating, from the shoulder. This injury should not be confused with a dislocated shoulder, where the top of the upper arm pops out of its socket.

 

In most instances, rest and wearing an arm sling is enough to allow the injury to heal. Soon after the injury happens, ice is often used to control swelling and ease pain. Patients then undergo exercises to regain the motion in their shoulder. In severe cases, surgery is needed to repair the damaged ligaments to put the joint back together again.

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