Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming’s Injury and What He Can Expect in the Future

The Houston Rockets have been on a 12-game winning streak however they suffered a major blow this week when their NBA All-Star center Yao Ming was ruled out for the season today as he has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left foot.

Yao has been having a great season and averaged around 22 points and 10 rebounds per game so far in the season. However upon examination by the Rocket’s doctor Tom Clanton, Yao was found to have a stress fracture in his left foot and currently opinions are being sought as to the best method of treatment.

How Did Yao’s Stress Fracture Happen?
Like most sports injuries of this nature, Yao’s injury can’t be linked to a single traumatic event in the recent past. A stress fracture is generally caused by overuse. The muscles become fatigued and they are unable to absorb any further shocks. Eventually the shocks that the muscles should be absorbing are transferred to the bone. Bone was not made to be shock absorbent and eventually a tiny crack will happen and this is a stress fracture. The majority of stress fractures occur on the weight bearing areas of the body such as the lower legs and especially the feet.

What are Yao’s Treatment Options?
Rest and not using the affected body part is the first line of defense in treating a stress fracture, mobility is usually accommodated through the use of a cast on the stress fracture area and crutches to keep the weight off the area. Slowly working the muscles to help them rebuild but not to the point of fatigue through light physical therapy is also recommended in many cases. Surgery is another option Yao may choose. The surgery for his type of sports injury would involve placing screws across the bone to hold it together. Neither option is faster than the other. Resting the stress fracture or surgery both require roughly four months of healing to have the individual back in action. X-ray of a stress fracture and also the common simple surgery to fix the injury.

At this time, Clanton could not comment on when Yao would be on the court again but did say he still expects Yao to be able to play in the Beijing Olympics in August.

What Can Yao Expect?
Yao should be able to return to normal game play, however many physicians advise caution once an athlete has suffered a stress fracture that particular attention needs to be paid to not allowing muscles to over-fatigue and aggravate the injury or cause a new stress fracture in the future.

Which do you think is a better option for a stress fracture? Rest or surgery?