Ever since Colts owner Jim Irsay compared Andrew Luck's lingering calf injury with an injury Ryan Diem suffered years ago, the retired Colts offensive lineman has been buried in questions about his injury history.
"I’ve been fielding questions all day," Diem said in an email with IndyStar. "Amazing how being lumped in with Andrew Luck has that effect! Lol…
Diem explained that his "small little bone injury" was a broken Os Trigonum, which is a small bone that sits behind the ankle joint.
"It's a weird little bone that only about 10% of people have," said Diem, who suffered his injury during the Colts Super Bowl XLI victory against the Chicago Bears in 2006.
The injury was "extremely painful," and Diem knew immediately something was wrong. Initially, doctors believed his Achilles tendon was about to rupture but further diagnostics showed that a small piece of bone had broken off the back of his foot was getting pinches in the joint.
Fortunately for Diem, the process of removing it was simple.
"A straightforward surgery to remove it, and there was instant relief," said Diem, who retired in 2011. "Recovery was fairly minimal. Thankful it wasn’t my Achilles."
According to OrthoIndy's Dr. Jonathan Shook, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine who has been practicing for 11 years, the preferred treatment for an Os Trignom is rest. If surgery is required, as it was for Diem, recovery time is generally four to six weeks. Injuries to the Os Trigonum are most common in soccer players and ballerinas — anyone who "does a lot of plantar flexing or pointing their toes down. So they’re kicking a ball or on point for a ballerina," Shook said.
"It happens when your toes are pointed all the way down and the backside of your ankle is coming up and can contact that backside of an ankle joint," added Shook, who has not examined Luck or Diem. "The back of the tibia.