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Hawks guard Trae Young suffers ankle injury

Dr. Marco Lopez

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Trae Young injured his ankle, we are hoping it is a bad ankle sprain and is out for about 1-4 weeks.

What is injured?

Typically 1 of the 3 main lateral ankle ligaments: 1) Anterior Talofibular Lig. (ATFL), 2) Calcaneofibular Lig. (CFL), and Posterior Talofibular Lig. (PTFL)

The ATFL is the most commonly injured ligament in the ankle, which is involved in 2/3rds of all lateral ankle sprains

How is it injured?

The ATFL is usually injured when a player is landing, cutting or when the ankle is in a plantar flexed and inverted

What are the signs and symptoms?

Pain, Swelling, Ecchymosis, Tenderness/Tender to palpation 

What is the severity?

Grade I: ligament is stressed and injured but there is no detected laxity present

Grade II: moderate stretches to the ligament and there is laxity detected in comparison to the uninvolved side

Grade III: defined as complete or near complete disruption of ligament fibers and significant laxity is detected

About 85% of ligament injuries are grade I or II

What is the Prognosis?

Recovery from a lateral ankle sprain can be broken down to various stages however we will simplify them into three: early, middle and late rehab stages. 

The main goals of early rehab are to prevent further inflammation and maintain/improve ROM in the first 14 days. Rapid improvements in ankle pain are generally seen in the early rehab stage.

In the middle rehab stage, otherwise known as the proliferation stage we begin strengthening and proprioception exercises. Improvements in actual stability are seen during this stage which can last up to 3 months

In the late rehab stage, we begin to see the actual ligament regaining its strength up to 80% after 3 months. We focus on further strengthening in different planes of motion, proprioception training and agility/jumping mechanics. 

Studies show that 55% of individuals who sprain their ankle and do not seek treatment from a licensed health care professional may contribute and lead to chronic ankle instability.

Marco Lopez is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist practicing in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Lopez attended The University of Southern California where he graduated with his BS in Human Biology with an emphasis in applied physiology in 2014 and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2017. He currently works in Manhattan Beach at an outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine clinic in which the population range from high school athletes to weekend warriors. Furthermore, he co-founded The Basketball Doctors, a social-media platform, with the mission to provide evidence-based rehabilitation to the basketball community by presenting fundamental knowledge relevant to injury prevention, optimizing movement, and performance enhancement as well as training for athletes with the goal of enjoying basketball for life. He is die-hard Los Angeles fan rooting for the Lakers, Trojans, Dodgers, Kings and Rams.

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NBA Injuries

Gordon Hayward (broken hand) headed for surgery?

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NBA Injuries

Steph Curry hand surgery update

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NBA Injuries

Update: Steph Curry broken hand

Dr. Marco Lopez

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As of last night Steph Curry has fractured a metacarpal 

CT Scan this morning will dictate if there is more damaged than expected

What is the Severity?

Steph Curry’s injury is interesting because there are many joints here at play. The CT scan and MRI will dictate the severity of it.

If it is just a metacarpal fracture, then the standard tissue healing guideline of 4-8 weeks is expected for the bone to fully heal.

If he also fractured his radius via the metacarpal pushing on the radius falling down then it will be longer time line closer to 8 weeks and require surgery.

The worstcase scenario is if he fracture his scaphoid. The Scaphoid has very poor blood supply and that takes a long time to heal and will be in cast for prolonged period of time.

Will go over the best case scenario which is a metacarpal fracture.

What is a metacarpal?

The metacarpals are the longs bones connecting your wrist to your knuckles.

How is it injured?

Usually injuries to the wrist and carpals are due to catching yourself from a fall or landing on it like Steph Curry did.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Pain, Bruising, swelling, inability to move the hand, sometimes deformity

What is the prognosis?

The prognosis if it is just a metacarpal fracture will be around 4-8 weeks. However, if there is more involvement that requires surgery it will take longer.

The good news about his injury was that it was on his non-dominant hand (left) so we won’t have to worry about his shooting.

What is the rehab?

Once cleared for physical therapy rehabilitation will focus on secondary impairments from immobilization and the injury itself. This would include mobility of all joints involved, soft tissue flexibility, strengthening throughout his upper extremity kinetic chain, grip strength, and reintegration to basketball specific activities.

Fantasy Implications?

With Steph Curry being out for at least 4 weeks look at D’Angelo Russell to take more control and more shot meaning better fantasy value. Also look into adding Jordan Poole to start having more minutes and an add in deep fantasy leagues.

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