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Minnesota Vikings shouldn't fret: Brett Favre would need minor shoulder surgery at worst, specialist says

Or full tear of injured shoulder could be induced

St. Paul Pioneer Press—May 15, 2009

A shoulder specialist at one of the nation's top hospitals for orthopedics said the presumed injury to quarterback Brett Favre's throwing arm shouldn't prevent him from playing again.

"This is a relatively good problem to have, if you're going to have a shoulder problem," said Dr. David Altchek, the co-chief of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. "The pain could go away, or (the problem tendon) could tear by itself.

"Worst-case scenario, he would have to have minor surgery," said Altchek, emphasizing that he was providing insight based on the numerous reports about Favre's biceps/shoulder injury. "Otherwise, (the Vikings) should be in good shape. I don't think this is the kind of problem where you say, 'Uh-oh.'"

Altchek is the medical director for the New York Mets, consults with the NBA, and previously served as the North American Medical Director for the Association of Tennis Professionals. Hospital for Special Surgery was rated the top hospital in the nation in orthopedics by U.S.News & World Report in its 2008 "America's Best Hospitals" survey.

Altchek said surgery might be the best option and the procedure - called a biceps tenotomy - is relatively straightforward.

Altchek said Favre would rest and rehab, then slowly begin a regimen to resume throwing.

"It would be six to eight weeks before he would throw again with some zip on the ball," Altchek said. "As far as shoulder things go, that's on the easy side."

Whether Favre could play through the pain would be up to his pain tolerance, Altchek said.

"As a team physician, I wouldn't be worried about this at all," he said.

Read the full story at twincities.com.


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