Although height definitely has its advantage in basketball, it can also be a part of the problem when it comes to chronic injuries. With more height, you have more weight, and this weight is all balanced and equalized on our 2 feet. Our bodies are built to withstand forces that we put on ourselves, and can subtly change over time to accommodate them.
The problems begin when you have a serious injury to your ankles or feet with added height and weight. Whether you are 7 feet tall, like Brook Lopez, or even slightly overweight, you will need a longer time to heal, and a slower transition back into daily activities and eventually, sports.
At 7 feet tall, Brook Lopez seems tall even amongst his teammates. Brook Lopez began his career with the New Jersey Nets back in 2008, and played in 82 games in each of his first 3 seasons. Unfortunately, before the start of his 4th season (2011 – 2012,) Lopez fractured a long bone in his right foot (5th metatarsal.) He had a procedure to fix the fracture that included placing screws in the bone, and took time off to heal. With that being said, that year proved to be the least active year in his career to date, playing only 5 games all season.
Lopez started out the 2012 – 2013 season with the Brooklyn Nets, signing a 4 year $60 million maximum contract. During the season, he missed 8 games because of ankle injuries, starting an unsettling trend. During this past offseason, he had a screw replaced at the original fracture site on his 5th right metatarsal from 2011.
The 2013 – 2014 season started out looking good, but after 2 ankle injuries, Lopez came back and re-fractured the same bone he did in 2011 during the December 20, 2013 game against Philadelphia. On Saturday, January 4th, 2014, he had surgery to repair the fractured bone, and also had another procedure called an osteotomy to help balance the weight in his right foot. He will be out for the rest of the season, playing only 17 games, but should be well healed before the offseason practice begins.
Some have compared the procedure Lopez underwent to that of former Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat center ZydrunasIlgauskas. When he had his osteotomy, it was dubbed as a “career saving” procedure. Regarding Lopez, the Nets general manager Billy King dismissed that notion, saying that Lopez had undergone a successful procedure, and hinted that only time could tell the outcome.
During the New Year, make sure you and your children have proper shoes for all of the activities you enjoy participating in. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Wilkins at Advanced Foot Care Centers at our St. Elmo location in Chattanooga, TN by calling (423) 702 – 6453.
By: Kimberly Wilkins