The Sixers on Wednesday introduced that their MVP finalist has a small lateral meniscus tear in his proper knee. The team classified Joel Embiid as “day to day” and mentioned he’d obtain bodily remedy and different therapy.
What precisely is a small lateral meniscus tear, and what’s the prognosis for Embiid past the overall “day after day” designation?
NBC Sports activities Philadelphia mentioned Embiid’s scenario Wednesday with Dr. John Vasudevan, a sports activities drugs physician at Penn Drugs and an assistant professor of medical bodily drugs and rehabilitation. Vasudevan shouldn’t be treating Embiid.
What’s the damage?
“The (meniscus accidents) which are of better consequence are the medial meniscus — on the within of the knee,” Vasudevan mentioned. “Whereas the lateral meniscus — on the surface of the knee — shouldn’t be the place most of your weight bearing happens. For the common individual, it’s much less prone to result in surgical procedure. The issue is it’s Joel Embiid and he’s in a multi-directional skilled sport. So a lateral meniscus is likely to be of extra consequence than to the common individual.”
The Sixers have referred to as Embiid’s damage a “small tear,” and he was capable of run by way of his typical pregame exercise earlier than Sport 5 of the Sixers’ first-round collection towards the Wizards.
Based on Vasudevan, instability is “way more regarding” with meniscus tears than ache or swelling, although the Sixers might want to monitor these signs.
When may he come again?
Decreased ache, decreased swelling and “energy that’s at the very least 90 % of the alternative aspect” can be common indicators in assist of Embiid returning, per Vasudevan.
Ideally, bodily remedy will assist on these fronts.
“For the primary half, on ache and swelling, they’ll use ice and warmth and therapeutic massage and loads of modalities to attempt to help — together with drugs or injections — to carry that ache and swelling down. … What they do is progressively problem not simply the muscle mass that go across the knee, however muscle mass of the hip space and ankle space, to allow them to assist his knee,” Vasudevan mentioned. “Regardless of how nicely his knee is doing within the coming weeks, he’s nonetheless going to take care of some ache. The query is he whether or not he can carry out with the assistance of the hip and the ankle … to make these motions he wants.”
What are potential downsides of taking part in by way of ache?
Vasudevan referred to as the “can versus ought to” query one of many hardest points for any sports activities drugs physician.
“It actually requires ruling out the large, dangerous stuff,” he mentioned. “One, no fracture or instability. Then you definitely’re going to have a look at, what’s the trajectory of his ache and swelling? The primary three weeks are going to be his most difficult. Can he play by way of it? Positive, however (he is) going to be delicate to ache or swelling. And that will dictate how a lot time he will get on the ground.”
Although Embiid spoke about being bothered by the brace he wore after struggling a left knee bone bruise in March, Vasudevan mentioned he wouldn’t be stunned if the 27-year-old sported a knee brace upon returning. Nonetheless, carrying a brace may not absolutely align with Embiid’s bodily remedy targets.
“The entire hope is he advances in rehabilitation with out a knee brace,” Vasudevan mentioned, “as a result of a knee brace provides you with some assist, but it surely additionally hinders the muscle mass you wish to get robust. However the caveat is, within the time and second you’re at (within the playoffs), if he wants one thing above and past what his physique is giving him.
“The knee brace, what it does isn’t just stability. The medical time period is proprioception, however what it means is it form of reminds you the place you’re on the courtroom. The extra you bend and the extra you play, the extra the material of that brace is telling your knee and your mind, ‘You don’t wish to take it that far.’ Proper now he’s going to should be somewhat bit extra cautious to not exacerbate that ache and swelling.”
What is going to Embiid’s offseason seem like?
Embiid will doubtless have “loads of rehabilitation” within the offseason, Vasudevan mentioned.
It seems surgical procedure shouldn’t be on the desk in the meanwhile until Embiid have been to have a big setback, however may or not it’s after the season concludes?
“This goes all the way down to the bodily findings, the imaging findings and the trajectory of his progress. … By six to 12 weeks is the place you actually decide, are you able to ramp your self again up? By six weeks, if he’s not likely seeing loads of enchancment, that’s regarding,” Vasudevan mentioned. “And by six weeks, I’d anticipate he’ll see enchancment. However the query is at six to 12 (weeks), in the event that they actually attempt to push him tougher, does he hold getting recurrent or unpredictable exacerbation? I’d assume in weeks six to 12, you’ll hear whether or not he wants surgical procedure or not.”
On the floor, Embiid’s official day-to-day standing and the truth that the Sixers noticed no issues with him operating by way of his ordinary pregame exercise Wednesday each appear encouraging.
We’ll study extra within the coming days and weeks. The Sixers’ hope will clearly be that he developments in a constructive sufficient course to play and accomplish that at a excessive stage.