Posted May 20, 2013

Rob Gronkowski’s infection clears after fourth arm surgery

Rob Gronkowski's arm infection is gone after successful surgery. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski’s arm infection is gone after successful surgery. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski’s infection cleared up after a fourth surgery on his left arm, according to multiple reports.’s Ian Rapoport and Pro Football Talk’s Mike Wilkening both reported, citing league sources, that doctors were able to determine that the infection in Gronkowski’s arm is gone and that no further surgery on his arm is planned. Gronkowski initially suffered the arm injury last November and had been plagued by recurring problems ever since.

The surgeries aren’t yet over for Gronkowski, however. He is expected to need back surgery this offseason to address chronic back pain. Gronkowski recently underwent an MRI to examine a previously injured disk in his back that was bothering him last season, which revealed damage to a different disk.

As of now, the Patriots expect Gronkowski to be ready for training camp.

The 24-year-old Gronkowski missed five games near the end of last season after breaking his left forearm blocking during the final, meaningless extra point of a 59-24 Patriots win over the Indianapolis Colts. He re-injured the forearm during New England’s 41-28 AFC Divisional Playoff victory over the Houston Texas and missed the rest of the Patriots’ playoff run.

In 11 regular-season games last season, Gronkowski had 55 receptions for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns.


I can't say for certain in his case, but these infections are usually very similar.  The hardware that the surgeons put in to stabilize the broken bone gets infected with Staph, which is a skin bug that enters through the wound.  Then the surgeons need a second surgery to remove the plates, treat for 6 weeks or so with antibiotics since the infection is now in the bone.  After that they need another surgery to put hardware back in.  


So what was the infection from and what did they do to get rid of it?


Great reporting.