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Expertise of team doctor prevents Springbok star Pieter-Steph du Toit from possible leg amputation

Pieter-Steph du Toit

Stormers head coach John Dobson praised the quick actions of team doctor Jason Suter, as severity of the leg injury to Pieter-Steph du Toit was revealed.

The World Cup-winning Springboks flanker required emergency treatment on the field of play during the Stormers match with the Blues on February 29.

Suter explained it was ‘a medical emergency’ which saw World Player of the Year du Toit rushed to hospital once he had been able to evaluate what the injury was.

“He had a haematoma that developed into acute compartment syndrome. They’re incredibly rare cases. Only 43 have been recorded in the literature,” Suter said.

“It’s a medical emergency, because if you don’t pick it up early and treat it, the patient will lose blood supply to their leg and could lose their leg.

“Within 15 minutes of him coming off the field and us assessing him, we realised that he was at risk of this particular condition.

“He was taken straight to Vincent Pallotti Hospital where we had a vascular surgeon waiting. He was operated on that night.

“They had to cut through the muscle to release the pressure. They were only able to close that 10 days after his initial injury.”

From the prospect of possibly requiring an amputation to the news that du Toit will be available to play again in three months, head coach Dobson praised medical staff for the speed of their diagnosis.

“Doc deserves a lot of credit. It would have been devastating for Pieter-Steph and the game as a whole for a player to lose his leg,” Dobson told SARugbyMag.

Du Toit’s extreme case continues to grow the Stormers’ injury list, with fellow Springboks Siya Kolisi (knee), Bongi Mbonambi (torn hamstring), Herschel Jantjies (fractured fibula) and Steven Kitshoff (torn pectoral) all sidelined.

The Rugby Paper reported earlier this month how du Toit had rejected an approach from Premiership club Harlequins to stay around for the Lions tour in 2021.

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