Custom Orthotics are Allowing West Virginia's Truck Bryant to Play in the Final Four

We're well into March Madness 2010 and the West Virginia Mountaineers have reached the Final Four for the first time since 1959. One of the Mountaineers star players, Guard Truck Bryant, broke his fifth metatarsal two weeks ago, but may see some play time as the tournament comes to a close.

The fifth metatarsal is a common bone injured in basketball. A strong tendon, the peroneus brevis, attaches to the base of the bone. When the ankle twists, which happens often in basketball, the tendon can pull on its attachment to the fifth metatarsal and break the bone. This is a serious injury that requires immobilization and sometimes requires surgery to correct.

Mountaineers' trainer Randy Meador said how a specialist has constructed a custom orthotic device for Bryant. This orthotic is designed to redistribute pressure away from the injured bone to allow him to bear weight, but still allow the fracture to remain stable. This isn't a cure-all by any stretch, but we're talking about championship basketball, not a YMCA pick-up game...there's a lot at stake!

Ideally the fracture would be allowed to heal.   Meador said that it's not a "big break" which likely means the fracture is not displaced.  I wouldn't be surprised if Bryant ends up with surgery to repair the injury after WVA's season is officially over.  If not, he will likely be in a boot to immobilize him for 6-8 weeks.  Until then, Bryant and his team will do what they can to capitalize on the position they've worked so hard to get their team to.  Good luck!
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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