Rafael Nadal Wins 14th French Open with Bad Foot
Men’s professional Tennis superstar, Rafael Nadal is no stranger to injuries in his career. In 2012 he took 7 months off tour for knee Regenerative Medicine Stem Cell Therapy, the following year in 2013 he was World number 1 again, and has an outstanding career the last 10 years. Dr. Lox lectured with his Orthopedic Regenerative Surgeon in Aspen, Colorado in 2015, when Dr. Lox moderated a Sports Medicine at a Stem Cell Symposium. In the last 2 seasons, Rafael Nadal has been hampered with a foot injury, missing much of last season, and failing to defend his 13 French open crown, despite a large statue dedicated to him at Roland Garros, the site of the French Open, for his lifetime achievements there (though not even amazingly completed), and add to his record tying 22th major slam total. This year he won the Australian Open, his second moving him to the major slam lead at 21 ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. He struggled later this season not winning a single clay title in route to the French Open. https://www.drlox.com/tennis-star-rafael-nadal-knee-stem-cell-treatment/
Mueller Weiss Syndrome
His diagnosis is Mueller-Weiss syndrome, avascular necrosis or AVN of the navicular bone in the foot. This is referred to as Kohler’s disease in young children. It can appear as a stress fracture, but like most AVN conditions the affected bone can splinter or collapse. Obviously, running on it and playing extended Tennis in a tournament can be quite painful. In order to continue in the French Open, his personal physician did a nerve block to the foot, to alleviate the pain. This happens foot awareness, but despite all this he beat his rival, World number 1 at the time, Novak Djokovkic in the Quarterfinals, in the semifinals his opponent rolled his ankle of all injuries, and Nadal won, as Alexander Zverev couldn’t continue. In the finals he faced Norwegian Casper Rudd, who trained at the Rafael Nadal, and Nadal was his Tennis idol growing up. It was Ruud’s first slam final. Nadal won easily. Extending his French Open tally to a further record for a single slam to 14, and added to his most men’s grand slam titles at 22. Elite athletes, and true champions are no stranger to pain, especially in Nadal’s career. Playing with numb foot and winning for record extending victories is truly amazing. It is truly amazing what dedicated athletes can endure to play for the love of their sport, mulch less win again with a statue dedicated to you at the stadium. Ex- professional Tennis player and TV Tennis John McEnroe, stated on Rafael Nadal’s feat, his record he keeps adding to at the French Open will never ever be broken.
What is Avascular Necrosis
Avascular Necrosis or AVN occurs when the blood supply to an area of bone, is disrupted, leading to bone cell death or necrosis. Avascular refers to the loss of blood supply. It is sometimes referred to as osteonecrosis, aseptic necrosis, and bone infarction.
Causes of Avascular Necrosis or AVN
Trauma, is the leading cause of AVN, then idiopathic or unknown. In athletes it is typically trauma. Violent injury that disrupts blood flow such as a dislocated hip or shoulder is easily in retrospect seen as the causation, however overall AVN is rare, and with trauma things hurt, so a careful eye must be used in injuries that do not heal in a normal time fashion. https://www.drlox.com/tennis-player-knee-pain-treated-platelet-rich-plasma-prp/
Treatment of AVN
Avoiding further stress to the area initially is important. When the onset is not certain, and with elite athletes like Rafael Nadal, sometimes playing with AVN is agreed upon with the team, the physician, and the patient full aware of consequences. The worst scenario with AVN, is bone collapse and joint destruction to the navicular bone, and adjacent Talus the cornerstone of the ankle moving up and down. Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy may be useful early, but as Rafael Nadal took 7 months off tour in 2012 to fix his knees with Regenerative Medicine, timing this year, and the records, were probably important factors. Unlike the hip joint, which is the most commonly seen joint with AVN, if it collapses hip replacement surgery is common. Ankle replacement isn’t as successful, and often fusion is discussed. This typically ends the career of athletes who run a lot in their sport. Nadal has stated his next step is radio- frequency to burn the nerve for a more lasting period, to see if he can play in Wimbledon. Nadal is off to his best start of his 17 year career, winning the first 2 majors slams of the year. Dennis M. Lox M.D. has treated nearly every type of AVN causation, and body part affected, including the navicular bone in the foot. One a 14 year old soccer player was told she needed a foot fusion, she opted for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy. She resumed soccer within 6 months. Over a 4 year period, her serial MRI’s kept improving, showing less and less of the AVN. At the 4 year mark, her MRI was read by the radiologist as normal. She got a soccer scholarship to a major university that year. Early treatment and evaluation with a skilled expert in Regenerative Medicine and AVN are extremely important.
Whether you are a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or have arthritis from aging, Dr. Lox can help.
Dennis M. Lox, M.D. is an internationally renown Sports and Regenerative Medicine specialist. Dr. Lox incorporates Regenerative Medicine techniques such as cell science applications, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), and Tissue Engineering aspects, to help patients from around the world with a vast array of problems. Dr. Lox is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Lox lectures extensively and has edited two PM&R textbooks, the prestigious A State of the Art Review (Star) on Low Back Pain, and Soft Tissue Injuries: Diagnosis and Treatment.
Dennis M. Lox, M.D. maintains an active practice in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, and in Beverly Hills, California.