It seems like a lifetime ago, but there was a time in the not too distant past when, if you were a San Francisco Bay Area sports enthusiast, and in particular if you were an orthopedic hand and upper extremity specialist, that you were following the progress of one Stephen Curry and his 4th metacarpal fracture injury with great interest. I was thrilled to finally see a reproduction that he posted of his Xray of his injured hand with 3 pins, or Kirschner wires “in position.” Like many fans, I was bemoaning the fact that he was being kept off the practice court and then the NBA game time court for so long. He likely will have a full recovery based on this injury and x-rays, which I am delighted about.
I then wanted to post the fact that there were some newer treatment techniques that are very beneficial both for the professional athlete and the “weekend warrior.” I’ve applied this treatment to numerous patients with metacarpal fractures and gotten them back to skiing, and on the tennis court, and playing basketball in less than 2 months. Here is an x-ray of one example.
This “innate” screw is a very well-designed implant that I feel is reliable, effective, and allows early finger motion while the fracture is healing so that the rehabilitation schedule is significantly accelerated. “Shifting the Curve to the Left,” using the ubiquitous Covid-19 speak. The surgery is done on an outpatient basis and takes about 20 minutes. Patients only have a small skin defect where the screw is introduced and heals in a few days.Patients are able to use keyboards and devices, and drive, within a day or two after surgery.
Now of course the playing schedule for an NBA player is not a factor as we are dealing with life or death because of the Covid -19 crisis. We are doing emergency surgeries at this point in time in our practice, but open injuries, fractures that need repair, and certain soft tissue injuries qualify for care with that designation.
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