Monday, April 6, 2009

Ty Lawson Leads Way to NCAA Championship Game

Despite a toe injury that had basketball fans predicting an early exit for UNC, Ty Lawson has been busting brackets as they compete tonight for the National Championship against Michigan St. Though it’s somewhat unclear as to what happened to Lawson, and his exact diagnosis, one thing is for sure…Tarheel fans are glad to see him back in action!

UNC’s orthopedic surgeon related Lawson’s injury to “something similar to Turf Toe,” which is essentially a sprain of the metatarsalphalangeal joint (joint located at the base of the big toe). These injuries are tricky in terms of recovery, as the joint needs to rest as much as possible. It is advised to keep the athlete off of his/her feet, not to mention completely restrict activities such as running, jumping, defending, coming off screens, and changing direction. So what do you do when the athlete needs to get back on their feet in a hurry, specifically for the NCAA Tournament?

A combination of therapies including rest, ice, compression and elevation are done 2-3 times per day to control inflammation and reduce pain levels. Additional therapies such as
therapeutic ultrasound and cold laser therapy are also extremely beneficial. In the most extreme cases (such as Lawson’s), steroid injections are necessary. As mentioned, these therapies are great for reducing inflammation and controlling pain levels.

Though the above therapies are great for initial treatment, there is one more important step for complete recovery…rehabilitation. This includes stretching and strengthening of the musculature around the affected joint to reduce the risk of re-injury. Though the on-site UNC medical staff is doing great right now, and Lawson is playing well, his training room back in Chapel Hill will certainly be welcoming him with open arms come tomorrow.

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