Monday, June 08, 2009

I Need a Consult

I am definitely not a doctor. And one reason I know this, besides my failure to take any science classes in college or spend four years of my life in medical school (though if I had to go, I'd choose this one: Dominica is phenomenal), is that I am befuddled by the descriptions of Favre's recent shoulder surgery. That is, the procedure doesn't make sense to me, and I don't see how it's going to allow Favre to be a decent quarterback.

Getting into specifics now, apparently the reason Favre was gargling raw sewage for the last third of the '08 season was that he partially tore the bicep tendon in his throwing arm. That is, he partially tore the portion of his biceps muscle that connected it (I believe) to his shoulder bone. As you would think, this injury hurt and made Favre less effective as a quarterback. That much seems straightforward. So one would think that the solution to this injury would either be physical therapy, to help the tendon heal up on its own, or surgery where doctors would stitch up the tendon and reattach it to the shoulder. However, early reports said that Favre wasn't interested in that type of surgery, as it would be quite invasive and the rehab would be too arduous and lengthy. All this makes sense to me.

But then this weird second option emerged--- instead of having the partially torn tendon fixed, Favre could just have it completely severed. And this, it seems, would alleviate the pain he'd have in his shoulder and allow him to throw the ball at "100%" again while also allowing for a far simpler surgery and quicker recovery. So Favre consulted with the doctor in Alabama everyone talks with (Why is the nation's most preeminent sports orthopedic surgeon living in Alabama by the way? Low malpractice insurance rates?) and now news reports have surfaced that he apparently had the surgery done last month. (I guess Favre's entourage got nervous after more than 8 days passed without some useless, anonymous bit of Favre news leaking out.)

But I still don't understand how this is going to work. I mean, Favre now has a completely unattached biceps in his throwing arm. First off, how does he bend his arm up? Are there other, smaller muscles that get used? And second, in the football world, you'd think that not having a funcational biceps in his throwing arm would, at the least, make that arm a lot weaker than it was before. When one winds up to throw, you use your biceps, so I don't see how it wouldn't affect his throwing motion or accuracy. Plus, you especially rely on that muscle to secure the ball when you get tackled. So you'd think he might have increased problems with ball security. But this is all speculation. Really, I don't understand how this surgery "fixes" the problem or how it might impact Favre's abilities.

Can Papa Sal, the site's resident physician, provide some explanation?

p.s. I guess it was too much to hope that Stan Van Gundy would be able to top Phil Jackson in the NBA finals, eh? Also, Kobe's PR guys need to tell him to stop making that weasel/unrepetant rapist face.

1 comment:

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