Sports injuries are never a good thing, but in some instances they're truly horrifying. The following professional sports injuries are among the most shocking and gruesome to have ever occurred. The results of these injuries range from an ended season, early retirement, and even death. They illustrate why you need to be careful whenever you participate in a sport.

Basketball Player's Leg Break Ends Season

During a U.S. National team scrimmage, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers tried to stop a James Harden lay-up by leaping into the air. Momentum took him past the basket and out of bounds where George landed on his right leg.

What makes this injury so shocking was the severity of the break. George's weight and the inertia of his fall forced his leg to snap just past the knee. For a moment, his leg was parallel to the ground while his body was perpendicular. This injury took George out of play for the rest of the season.

Hit on Quarterback Ends Career

Washington Redskin quarterback Joe Theismann was in the prime of his career in 1985, with a new $5 million contract and a recent Super Bowl appearance attesting to his effectiveness. Unfortunately, a hit by New York Giants linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson so severely broke his leg, that he had no choice but to retire.

This particular injury is memorable because it occurred to a beloved player in front of millions of "Monday Night Football" fans. Theismann was only 36-years-old at the time, but had a successful second career in broadcasting.

Skate Slits Hockey Player's Throat

Former Buffalo Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk is an incredibly lucky man. He was not only able to make good money playing a sport he loved, he also survived an incredibly unlikely sports injury: getting his throat slit during a game.

His injury occurred during a routine game against the St. Louis Blues. The Blues and the Sabres were indifferent to each other and the game was a 1-0 snooze-fest. A Blues play on the goal forced player Steve Tuttle into the net and into Malarchuk, who immediately fell down.

The impact caused Tuttle's skates to drag across Malrchuk's throat, causing a six-inch cut that immediately started gushing blood across the ice. The crowd and the announcers panicked, but quick-acting emergency treatment saved his life.

Baseball Player Dies After Getting Hit by the Pitch

Professional baseball players get hit by pitches all the time, but with pitchers throwing up to 100 miles per hour, it's never a pleasant situation. Unfortunately for Cleveland Indians' shortstop Ray Chapman, his last hit-by-pitch turned out to be fatal.

In 1920, Chapman faced off against Carl Mays and crowded the plate for a bunt. Mays threw an inside pitch to drive Chapman back, but he couldn't get back in time. The ball hit him squarely on the temple. Mays, thinking the noise indicated the ball hit his back, grabbed the ball and threw Chapman out at first. Chapman quickly lost consciousness and died later the same day. He is the only MLB player to die on-field.

These injuries illustrate why sports medicine is so important to the world of athletics and illustrate why even amateur athletes like you should invite a health professional to their games.

To learn more, contact a sports medicine clinic like Orthopedic Rehab