Few know the importance of timely diagnosis and treatment better than an elite athlete such as the New York Knicks’ forward Jared Jeffries. Injured in a game in which he fell on his wrist, Mr. Jeffries had fractured the scaphoid bone – a small bone that sits at the base of the thumb. HSS surgeon Michelle G. Carlson, MD put a screw into Mr. Jeffries’ scaphoid to allow for the quickest healing of the bone.
Sports-related injuries to the hand and forearm can range from a jammed finger during a basketball game to a fracture or dislocation of the wrist.
Professional and recreational athletes, or active teens and children, are all prone to these types of injuries, and regardless of the severity, prompt attention from a hand surgeon can make an important difference in long-term recovery and ability to continue in that sport.
“With athletes, particularly professional athletes, we need to determine whether to let them continue to play and repair the injury at the end of the season, or fix it now and get them back to playing as soon as possible,” says Dr. Carlson, who consults on hand injuries for the New York Knicks, working closely with Answorth A. Allen, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Hospital for Special Surgery, who serves as the Knicks team physician, and Lisa R. Callahan, MD, Director of Player Care for the Knicks.
“In Mr. Jeffries case, we followed up with regular CT scans after surgery to evaluate when the bone was healed,” says Dr. Carlson, “and at six weeks he was able to return to play.”