World class spinal surgeon Dr. Scott Blumenthal joins Dr. Souryal for two hours of your only sports medicine talk show on the radio and the Interwebs! We have cut out the commercials for this podcast, so you get all the good stuff, without commercial interruption.
The Business of Medicine segment touches on a loophole that promotes the propagation of stand-alone Emergency Rooms, and segue ways into a Souryal Story which illustrates the problem, and more on transparency, or lack thereof, and the profit and pitfalls of the insurance game.
It’s a good thing Dr. B. is on because there are so many questions right in his bailiwick. How do you know when to choose an orthopedic surgeon vs. a neurosurgeon for back trouble? What are the effects of prednisone use and future surgeries? How do you know when it is time for a hip replacement? What is the relationship of spasms to hydration?
Listen and learn, my friends. And then…tell your friends!
This year it was Marcell Dareus. Last year it was Jacoby Jones. The year before, it was Felix Jones.
Every year, an NFL player fails his pre-season conditioning test, and the sports media—desperate during this yearly lull in the news cycle—gives the player a good ribbing about not taking his job seriously and eating too many Double Stuft Oreos.
Despite all of the hype surrounding the conditioning test, some coaches are starting to recognize that it might not be all that relevant.
As Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett noted, players go through the conditioning test on day one, “and the next day you’re on a practice field getting yourself involved in football movements, very different than what that conditioning test was.”
The test can be especially costly for some teams, as the Baltimore Ravens discovered today when defensive back Aaron Ross tore his ACL during the test.
Some coaches are now turning towards sports science to figure out how best to prepare their players for the rigors of a 17-week regular season.
The solution may lie in using GPS tracking technology to quantify players’ movements during practice, and utilizing that data to avoid preventable injuries.
Florida State University football coach Jimbo Fisher began using GPS tracking two years ago, and has since reduced the occurrence of soft tissue injuries on his team by 88 percent.
Now the technology has made its way to the practice fields of two prominent, injury-addled NFL franchises—the Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers.
According to the Australian sports scientists who first popularized GPS tracking for practices, the data suggests that teams should gradually increase high-intensity workouts by 10 percent each week until the season begins.
This gradual increase is tough to achieve with the NFL’s short, fragmented off-season, but one can still expect to the Packers and Cowboys take it easier on the players during the first few days of camp.
If it works for these two franchises, you can bet that every team will be using GPS tracking by next year’s training camp.
When you discuss an NBA center’s legacy, more often than not the discussion leads to his feet. Hakeem Olajuwon and Tim Duncan will forever be remembered for their balletic footwork. Others, like Shaq, Yao, and Bill Walton, will be remembered for the multiple foot surgeries which curtailed their otherwise dominant careers.
For former consensus number one draft pick Joel Embiid, the discussion started with his Olajuwon-esque footwork. It’s hard to watch his pre-draft workout in Los Angeles and not gush at how quick, yet deliberate his every step is:
Unfortunately for Embiid, who just had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot, Yao and Walton’s doomed feet have entered the discussion. He is now projected to fall out of the top three in the draft. Scouts and GMs figure that if he’s already had a foot surgery a few months after turning 20, then his career will inevitably be doomed by more and more surgeries.
But is it rational for the Cleveland Cavaliers to pass him up with the top pick? Maybe not.
The biggest difference is that Yao and Walton had their respective surgeries much later in their careers. As sports medicine surgeon Nick Grosso points out for USA Today, Embiid’s bones are still growing, making it much more likely that he experiences a full recovery and will not need another surgery.
Still, he will need those feet to support his 7-foot frame against the hardwood floor for every game and every practice of his career, so it’s reasonable to assume that the pick will reduce his overall mileage. It doesn’t help that he has lingering back problems and is rumored to have low bone density.
What makes the 2014 draft unique is that there is no huge drop off between Embiid and the three (Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum) that were expected to follow him.
Also, Cleveland is pretty much the only team that really wanted to make the playoffs last year. After a series of questionable lottery choices after Lebron’s departure, they don’t want to look dumb. They certainly don’t want to be like the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007, who, despite injury and unequal leg length risks, took Greg Oden at number one over Kevin Durant and Al Horford, both of whom were pegged as “sure things.”
Hopefully, years from now Embiid’s name will be more associated with Hakeem than Yao. It would be a shame if we NBA fans were deprived of Embiid’s potentially transcendent skill-set.