Another Foot Fracture For Yao Ming

Another foot injury plagues the Houston Rockets. In Friday night's playoff game against the Lakers, center Yao Ming suffered what was believed to be an ankle sprain. The next day, it was announced that the injury was, in fact, a hairline fracture. Although not displaced and requiring no surgery, the injury will require a full 8 to 12 weeks of rehabilitation before Yao can play on the foot again. This is the end of Yao's season. Hopefully the Rockets can continue to move forward with their playoff ambitions.

Yao's left foot has been plagued with various injuries. A stress fracture in his foot almost forced him to miss the Beijing Olympics. When repeated fractures such as this occur in the foot, often a custom orthotic is necessary. An orthotic will stabilize the mechanics and redistribute the pressures so no one specific area has an undue load on it. This most commonly will stop future fractures from occurring.

For basketball players, an additional level of support is sometimes needed. An ankle-foot orthotic not only redistributes pressures in the foot, but also helps to provide support to the ankle. I hope that during Yao's downtime, his trainers and physicians will reassess his biomechanical control so he can stop having these injury-plagued seasons.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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