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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.

thumb pressing into palm of hand

Trigger Finger: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

No matter what you do for a living, chances are that your hands are essential to your job. From busy contractors to food service professionals to office workers, most people use their hands all day, every day. And because you rely so much on your hands, if you’ve ever experienced any medical conditions causing hand pain, you know that hand pain can range from anywhere to distracting to debilitating.

Read more “Trigger Finger: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options”

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.

mother holding baby's hands

What Is Mommy’s Wrist, and How Can It Be Treated?

As a new mother, you expected to be a bit sleep-deprived and sore in those first few weeks, but you never imagined that your wrists would start hurting. Why is this happening, and is there anything you can do to lessen the pain you feel in your thumb and wrist? You’re experiencing Mommy’s Wrist (or Mommy Thumb, as it is sometimes called), which is a condition mothers develop from repetitive awkward movements involved with picking up, holding, and nursing an infant.

Read more “What Is Mommy’s Wrist, and How Can It Be Treated?”

Wrist Pain: Is it Tendonitis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

You rely on your hands to accomplish your tasks throughout the day. If you have wrist pain, you may struggle to focus on or complete the things you need to do. Shooting pain or tingling sensations in your fingers, hands, and wrists can be frustrating and scary. You may be wondering what is going on and if your wrist pain is caused by tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Read more “Wrist Pain: Is it Tendonitis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?”

woman in gym with hand on her shoulder

The Five Best (and Worst) Exercises for Your Rotator Cuff

The human body is a complex machine with many moving parts that work in unison to get us through our daily lives. One of the most integral components of this system is our rotator cuffs. The rotator cuff consists of a large group of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint, which allows our arms to perform various actions. Injuries to the rotator cuff can result in loss of motor function and require months of ongoing rehabilitation. There are exercises that you can do to help strengthen your rotator cuff muscles and lessen the chance of injury and some exercises that, if done incorrectly, can lead to an injury.  Read more “The Five Best (and Worst) Exercises for Your Rotator Cuff”

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