Tyson Gay is back on the track after having missed about eight months of racing due to a hip injury. In June 2011, Tyson withdrew from the U.S. Track and Field Championships. He suffered from a chronic hip injury. Tyson underwent surgery and then started on the road to recovery. It seems remarkable that he suffered such an injury, went through an orthopedic operation and that he is already working on a serious Olympic training regimen.
What were the details of Tyson's surgery? Who performed this miraculous operation? What is the rehabilitation routine for Tyson Gay? And how is he going to ramp up for the 2012 Olympics?Tyson Gay's Surgery.
Tyson suffered a right hip impingement and a torn hip labral. A hip impingement refers to a condition where there is too much friction on the hip joint (i.e. the hip bone and the tissues around the bone rub on each other too much.) Some doctors think that hip impingement can lead to damaged tissue around the bone. In Tyson's case, the theory is that his hip impingement caused his torn hip labral.
Tyson received an arthroscopic surgery during which his torn labral was fixed and his right hip impingement was addressed. Small incisions were made near his hip that provided access for the instruments that allowed the surgeons to view and work on his hip area. Small bone shavings were taken off of the impinged hip and the torn labral was fixed. It is hoped that the small bone shavings will remove the friction that exists between Tyson Gay's hip bone and connective tissue.
Who Performed Tyson's Operation?
According to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Dr. Marc Philippon from the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., performed Tyson's surgery. Dr. Philippon is internationally known for performing joint preservation techniques utilizing arthroscopic hip surgery on high-level athletes. The New York Times claims that he was one of the first surgeons to perform impingement surgery.
According the guidelines provided by the University of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Department, Tyson likely experienced assisted range of motion therapy starting just a day or two after his surgery. Likely a physical therapist would have flexed his hip area only to the point where no discomfort could be felt. Tyson had to use crutches until he could walk without experiencing excessive pain. (According to the Boston Globe, in Tyson's case, it was about eight weeks.)
About five months after his surgery he could start light jogging. During the last week of March 2012, he trained at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla. According to ESPN, he performed sprints on the grass and did sets of 300-pound dead lifts in the weight room.
The Road to the London Olympics.
Tyson's coach, Lance Brauman, told ESPN that Tyson likely will not compete in any tracks events until the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials (June 2012). The slow entrance into the racing scene is not due to the hip surgery. Rather, it's due to an adductor (groin) problem and inflammation of his pelvic bone.
Remarks made to ESPN make Tyson sound a little down about his continuing nagging injuries: "I didn't know there was this much bad luck in the world, you know what I mean? I mean all these nagging injuries."
But Tyson's coach sounds optimistic when he points out that Tyson is ahead of his planned training schedule and that he has only been training hard for four weeks. Bauman thinks that all of Tyson's ancillary injuries can be traced to his torn hip labrum; having now fixed the source of the problems, he is hopeful that the other injuries will go away. When asked whether he was concerned about running in any races until the Olympic Trials, coach Bauman replied, "If you look at his record over the last eight to 10 years. Any time he's been put on the track, he's raced fast."
Satchel Ford got to tour the Steadman Clinic during a class she took on biomedical engineering. The science behind making joints better is nearly as cool and miraculous as the athletes who benefit from it. For more content from Satchel visit www.satchelford.com. Thanks for reading.
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- Tyson Gay