The bruised upper arm that prevented Christian Ponder from playing in the playoffs became so swollen a few weeks later that the Vikings quarterback went to a hospital emergency room, where the doctor who examined him wanted to rush him into surgery, Bob Sansavere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
“They were scaring me with what they wanted to do,” Ponder said Wednesday, May 1.
Ponder said the doctor told him it could be compartment syndrome, which “can be an emergency, requiring surgery to prevent permanent injury,” WebMD.com says. It “occurs when excessive pressure builds up inside an enclosed space of the body” and affects blood flow, WebMD says.
“A little scary,” Ponder said.
Ponder quickly reached out to Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman, who discussed options other than surgery with the emergency room doctor.
“Luckily, (Sugarman) called me at the right moment and talked to the doctor,” Ponder said. “He said, ‘Don’t do anything crazy. Get an MRI.’ It ended up being fine.”
“It was just weird,” Ponder said. “All of a sudden, the whole thing got rock hard and swelled up. Scared to death it was a blood clot, so we went to the ER.”
After an MRI, Ponder was assured it wasn’t a blood clot or compartment syndrome.
“About two weeks after that, all the effects went away,” he said. “I’ve been working out for probably two months now, and it’s been fine.”