Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook won’t be scoring baskets in this year’s NBA playoffs, instead he’ll be having surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee. Not great timing when you’re trying to help your team win an NBA Championship.
So if his team advances to the next round of the playoffs, will Westbrook be better in time to hit the court again and help his team on their quest?
We talked to Robert Berry, M.D., D.O., medical director of sports medicine and on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center Plano, to get the scoop on meniscus tears and knee injuries. Here’s some things he told us is really going on inside Westbrook’s knee.
Q: What is the meniscus?
The meniscus is a crescent-shaped fibrocartilage disc that helps provide cushion between the bones in our knee.
Q: What happens if you tear your meniscus?
When we tear the disc it can sometimes become a hindrance to us being able to move our knee. Often, a surgeon will go into small poke holes in the knee to repair the meniscus in order to restore function and to allow for more motion and decrease pain.
Q: What is the usual recovery time for a meniscus tear?
Usually someone can be back to walking soon after the procedure. The typical recovery time after a surgical meniscus repair is usually two to six weeks, and sometimes physical therapy is involved to get people back to their regular daily activities or back to participating in their sport.
UPDATE: It seems that unfortunately Westbrooks’ meniscus tear will keep him out for the rest of his team’s playoff run.