David Chao, MD Takes A Look At Tony Hawk’s Gnarly Injury

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Tony Hawk, the 53-year-old GOAT skateboard legend, announced on social media that he broke his leg. The reality is his injury is much more severe than that.

By his own posts, it is clear he had a displaced transverse femur fracture and a femoral neck (hip) fracture. The first required a retrograde nail/rod and the second a set of pins/screws. These injuries are no joke and are very high velocity/energy injuries that require the force of a high speed car accident.

There is no report of how it happened. For full disclosure, I have treated and performed surgery on Hawk previously but pictures show him at an undisclosed hospital still. In my time two decades as the chief medical officer for the X Games, Hawk was the “Michael Jordan” of his sport. I witnessed Tony complete the world’s first 900 on a vert ramp in San Francisco. It is amazing that last year he was still completing 720s in his 50s.

This recovery will be much more involved than his elbow fracture 20 years ago. Hawk has always said he would never stop riding and he intends to return but this time it will be a minimum 6-9 month recovery (with possible future surgery) and the hardest physical path of his life, but no one (including me) doubts him.

Ironically, his new documentary entitled “Until the Wheels Fall Off” drops on April 5th. Right now, one wheel (and the axle) is broken.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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