Dr. A. Lee Osterman Interviewed about Thumb Injuries Like Joel Embid’s

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will need surgery in the offseason, but he vows to continue to play even though he’s in a lot of pain. Doctors say Embiid’s thumb injury is common and the surgery to fix it is pretty basic.

Embiid says he’ll find a way to adjust, noting that this is the NBA playoffs and that nothing will stop him.

You can see Embiid grabbing his hand, wincing in pain as he continues to play through the playoffs after his thumb was injured Wednesday during Game 3.

“I think it must have been during those physical battles, pushing each other,” Embiid said. “Maybe I think my hand or my finger must have gotten caught on someone’s shirt. I mean, it’s painful. In basketball, you need to use your hand a lot.”

An MRI on Sunday confirmed Embiid has a torn ligament in his right thumb.

“A ligament is a structure made of collagen that goes from bone to bone,” said Dr. A. Lee Osterman, a surgeon and president of the Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder Center. “It’s what gives your joints stability.”

Osterman is not treating Embiid but says he has a common sports injury.

“It will hurt his effectiveness a bit but not completely,” Osterman said, “and obviously 90% of him is better than no percent of him. Every time he grabs the ball, it hurts. It’s not like it’s a dainty thing. He’s grabbing it and so it hurts a fair amount. And he’s played with a bunch of injuries this year. He’s been a warrior and continues to be this year.”

The question, though, is it safe for Embiid to continue to play?

“Fortunately, you can tape it and splint it as Mr. Embiid is, and that will often give you some protection and stability,” Osterman said.

Sixers head coach Doc Rivers says Embiid will continue to play and have surgery to reattach the ligament in the offseason.

“This is an injury which is absolutely recoverable to all the things that he can be, so this is not a career-ending injury,” Osterman said.

Recovery from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament can take four to six weeks.

The 76ers aren’t saying when or where the surgery will take place, only that it will be in the offseason when Embiid will have plenty of time to recover.

mother holding baby's hands

PHSC Physicians Present at AAOS Annual Meeting

Drs. A. Lee Osterman, Randall Culp, David Zelouf, Mark Rekant, Meredith Osterman, Rick Tosti, Adam Strohl and Matthew Wilson presented at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting recently held in Chicago. Dr. Meredith Osterman was the program chair for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand / American Association for Hand Surgery Specialty Day.

Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe from Hand and Arm Injuries this Spring

After a very long Winter, Spring is finally here! Warmer days and the lifting of many Covid-19 re-strictions mean spring sports and other activities are starting to pick back up. Here are some tips for keeping your kids safe as they ease back into their favorite activities.

The playground is the perfect place for kids to burn off some energy, but it also presents an increased risk of hand, wrist, arm, el-bow, and shoulder injuries. According to the National Program for Playground Safety, 80% of playground injuries are caused by falls, so make sure to supervise young children on climbing equipment like monkey bars and rock walls. It is recommended that the area where a child might fall have a protective surfacing extending at least six feet in all directions. Protective surfacing can be made of wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires, or rubber mats. Parents can also encourage their kids to play on swings and slides and teach them a few games that do not involve climbing equipment.

Young Musicians

Musicians of all ages have relied on creativity this past year by connecting to others online and holding virtual and outdoor practice sessions and concerts.  With hours of playing—whether to a computer screen or a packed concert hall–the risk of injury and overuse is the same. Nerve injuries in the hands, shoulders and neck are common due to holding an instrument in the same position for long periods of time. Parents and music instructors should recognize when it is time to take a break from playing to give hands, arms, shoulders and neck a rest.

Spring Sports

Young athletes are at risk of com-mon injuries like fractures, dislocations, ligament in-juries, tendon ruptures andtendonitis. Often these injuries are caused by accidents and falls during play, but they can also be caused by overuse. Sports like tennis, golf, lacrosse, softball, and baseball can cause injuries to hands, wrist, arms, elbows, and shoulders because of the repetitive swinging and shooting motions used during play. Make sure young athletes stretch to warm up before playing and have enough time to rest between games and practices.

When To See a Doctor

Most hand, wrist, arm, elbow, and shoulder in-juries can be treated at home with rest, ice, elevation and over the counter anti-inflammatory medication. However, some injuries need to be evaluated by a hand specialist. Fractures, open wounds dislocations, jammed fingers, crushed fingertips, swelling that does not improve after a few days, and any loss of motion are all signs that your child should be evaluated by a hand surgeon to reduce the risk of permanent damage. If your child sustains an injury and you are unsure of its severity, call us at 1-800-385-PHSC.  Our team of orthopedic experts provide comprehensive care to patients of all ages for all injuries to the hands, wrists, arms, elbows, and shoulders. Our network of 15 offices and flexible scheduling options allow us to care for you and your family when and where its most convenient for you.

For more information about Dr. Wilson and the PHSC team, visit Hand-2ShoulderCenter.com or call 1-800-385-PHSC (7472).

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