What Happened to Brian Butch’s Elbow?

Every joint in the human body is a complex structure, housing many different connective tissues and bones that allow all types of movement. When a joint becomes dislocated, it not only creates a rather cringe-worthy spectacle, but it can also cause lingering damage to the area with chronic stiffness, pain, and overall impaired function. One of the most famous examples of a dislocated joint comes from the young, aspiring University of Wisconsin basketball star, Brian Butch. Butch was recognized early in his teen years as a talented ball player, and he might have had a legendary career on the court, were it not for an injury that occurred during his junior year at Wisconsin. Let’s take a closer look at what happened in this injury as well as the impact it had for Butch’s career.

A gruesome injury

During a game at Ohio State, Butch attempted to make a shot, but landed hard on his elbow after jumping into the air. Immediately, you could see that the elbow was knocked out of place, which caused a pain that Butch recalls: “If a 10 is a limit, then it was an 11.” Wisconsin’s trainer, Henry Perez-Guerra, had to relocate the joint, leading to even more excruciating pain, though this didn’t stop Butch from trying to get back in the game.

Adrenaline kicks in

After Perez-Guerra reset the elbow joint, Butch was eager to get back on the court, not realizing that he had sustained a fracture as well. Even still, he was able to return to college play later in the season and played as a senior, averaging 12.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

Promising career suffers

While Butch was able to sustain a successful college career, he was not drafted in the 2008 NBA season. He did play ball internationally, and eventually became signed with the Denver Nuggets, though he never actually played a game with them.