Dime Q&A: Expert Surgeon Talks Manu Ginobili & Hand Injuries

By: 01.30.12  •  2 Comments
Chris Paul

Chris Paul (photo. Daymon Gardner)

Dime: To go to the Clippers, Chris Paul missed some time with a strained hamstring. That seems like the type of injury that can be easily hurt again...
DBR: Yeah, the strain of a hamstring is so easy to reoccur. If you don’t adequately rehab it, you can easily hurt it again because what happens is after you strain a hamstring, it causes all of these micro-tears. Micro-tears cause an area to scar, and cause inflammation. It causes a tightness in the hamstring. So when you go back to the level that Chris Paul is playing at or any NBA player, you’re very likely to re-strain it. It’s so important to rehab it properly by stretching it and strengthening your hamstrings to help avoid those reoccurrences.

Dime: Is it one of those injuries that you can’t really tell is all the way healed until there is no tightness at all?
DBR: You are absolutely right. We are all created differently. We all challenge ourselves on different levels. On a basic level, we can say it takes four to six weeks to heal, and that’s a generic number, but four to six weeks may work for a person who doesn’t play competitive basketball or another sport. But for someone who does play competitively, realistically if you’re looking for full healing we’re talking about up to three months. Within that time – and I’m not saying you have to be off of it – this is an injury that you have to be constantly rehabbing and stretching it to maintain the range of motion. You also have to be stimulating that muscle, especially with fast-twitch fibers so that you can heal a lot quicker.

Dime: When you strain a hamstring, is that a problem that someone has or is it strictly random?
DBR: The reason is happens is because usually people’s hamstrings are tight, they’re not stretched and their quads are a lot stronger. What happens is there’s an inequality, so a hyperextension motion or a quick contraction can cause the sprain to occur. That’s the most likely cause. Again on the same level, we’re all created differently. Some people may have stronger quads or more defined quads, which makes the hamstrings more susceptible to injury. Your quads have to equal your hamstrings in terms of strength in order to avert injury.

Dime: I’ve heard people say sometimes that it’s better to tear something than spraining it…
DBR: A tear is a higher degree of a sprain. The problem with a sprain is that you can still function on a sprain so people do not generally take care of themselves after a lower-degree injury. You watch them go back and play, and that’s the type of issue that can linger because they don’t stop and say “Hey listen, I need to take care of this issue” because it’s not severe enough.

With a tear, you actually stop. You see a doctor. You get it taken care of. You get it immobilized. And because you’ve been compliant with the treatment, you’re less likely to have secondary issues afterwards or a reoccurrence.

What do you think?

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