Break a leg!

Wishing ‘Break a Leg!’ Increases Risk of Femur Fracture by 85%

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ROSEMONT, IL – The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that the theatrical superstition of wishing good luck to stage performers in the form of the phrase “Break a leg!” increase the risk of femur fracture by 85% and tibial plateau fracture by 65%.

Break a leg!
Unfortunate actor learns his lesson

“I’ll totally be honest: for years, hearing anyone say ‘Break a leg!‘ just made me squirm,” shuddered AAOS President Dr. William Maloney, who has not said the phrase in five decades.  “But now the evidence is overwhelming that this simple gesture of good luck actually jeopardizes the health of the actor, actress, or musician in question, who will now likely require major surgery thanks to a pleasant but now-proven-to-be-morbid intent.”

The findings, which were published in JAMA, gave concrete data on something that, to orthopods, was simply just a hunch.

“The study was a double-blind, double-dummy, multicenter, randomized controlled trial involving 400,000 thespians over a 50-year span,” explained University of Chicago orthopedic surgeon Brock Hammersley.  “The control group was simply told ‘Good luck!’ before a performance while the study group was told ‘Break a leg!’  Almost within moments of uttering the latter phrase, leg bones were shattering left and right.  For that reason, the study was stopped early.”

So what can we do to fix this?

“Well, obviously, the way to fix the bone is with operative management, may need an intramedullary nail, may need an ex fix depending on the degree of damage,” responded Hammersley.

Gomerblog clarified the question, asking how do we fix this scenario involving the phrase “Break a leg!” not the actual bone itself.

“Oh, sorry, I misunderstood your question,” replied Hammersley.  “The fix here is prevention.  We need a new phrase.  But not ‘Break an arm!’ or anything like that.  As an orthopedic surgeon, I would advocate against breaking any bones really.  Maybe ‘Perforate a viscus!’?  At least, it wouldn’t involve us any more.  You’d need to consult Surgery.”

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