Monday, July 6, 2009

Yao Ming's Foot Injury

After limping off of the court in this past years Western Conference Semi Finals against the Lakers, who would of thought that Yao Ming would be looking at a season, potentially career ending injury?

Yao has been diagnosed with a stress fracture of the left foot. More specifically he has fractured a small bone located at the top arch of the foot, called the Navicular.

A stress fracture is a common overuse injury most often seen in athletes. It usually occurs when the forces are much lower, but happen repetitively for a long period of time; these injuries are also known as "fatigue fractures." Stress fractures are commonly seen in athletes who run and jump on hard surfaces, such as distance runners, basketball players, and ballet dancers.
A stress fracture can occur in any bone, but is commonly seen in the foot and shin bones (

Here's a great video from ESPN describing, in further detail, Yao's injury:

Treatment of a stress fracture typically includes but not limited to:
Muscle Stimulation
Soft Tissue Therapy
Graston Technique
Therapeutic Ultrasound
Stretching and Strengthening Exercises
*Surgery if necessary

Of the above listed treatments, rest and immobilization are without question, the most important. This is needed to allow the injury to fully heal. If it doesn't heal properly, and the athlete starts playing again, that area can become susceptible to further injury. Or worse yet, other areas of the foot can pick up the unnecessary slack, and become injured themselves. This can ultimately start, or in Yao's case, continue a cascade of problems.
Now I know its difficult to keep a Starting Center/NBA Icon/Hero from China off the basketball court, but it is definitely necessary. Stress fractures take time to heal, and can become a nuisance if they don't heal properly.
Hopefully Yao choose's the correct course of treatment, and is given the appropriate amount of resting time. Even though it may take a while for him to get back on the court, we are all routing for him to have a long and successful career.

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