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Why Pistons’ Cade Cunningham trades rest vs. surgery on injured shin

Why Pistons’ Cade Cunningham trades rest vs. surgery on injured shin

To go for surgery or not?

That’s the question Pistons star guard Cade Cunningham thinking now.

Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick in 2021, has been sidelined since Nov. 10 with what the team called “left calf soreness.” A week later, he was scheduled for a review. It’s been over a week and Cunningham is still out with an injury. Athletic last week it was reported that there were concerns that Cunningham suffered a stress fracture in his tibia and remains on the sidelines as he decides between taking more rest to try to heal the lingering problem or undergoing what would likely be season-ending surgery.

One can certainly understand why the 21-year-old, considered the face of the franchise, is hesitant to sit out the entire season. He is also a competitor. Still, the Pistons will likely miss the playoffs, and Cunningham’s future is far more important to the organization than his attempts to play the hero in a potentially losing season. However, with all that said, it is possible that rest, the least invasive option of the two, will work. However, only time will tell.

So given Cunningham’s importance to the Pistons, his age and Detroit’s current status in NBAwhich course is the best option?

“If he were my patient, I would present both options and see what he prefers,” said Deepak Chona, MD, founder of SportsMedAnalytics Athletic. “Given the risk-benefit ratio of surgery, I think most young NBA players in his position would probably choose surgery.”

Cunningham has been battling shin pain for some time, according to sources. The pain started to flare up again in the preseason and got to the point earlier this month that he had to take time off and deal with it.

The vacation route has its benefits, but like nothing else, it doesn’t guarantee that the problem won’t persist in the long run. Rest is obviously the least invasive option. However, these types of fractures don’t always heal with rest alone. The rest process will keep Cunningham sidelined for four to six weeks, which he is approaching, with limited ability to bear weight on the leg. After this period, he would usually have further imaging studies to see the progress. If all goes well, he will be able to increase his activity, but after that he will likely be out for another four to six weeks.

In the end, rest may work, but it also has a greater chance of allowing the injury to linger.

“The chances of healing an injury with surgery are higher,” said Chono, who also acknowledged that surgery does not guarantee a 100 percent recovery. “However, all operations carry some risk. In Cunningham’s case, those risks should be very low, but never zero.”

Surgery, on the other hand, would ensure that Cunningham is out for the season. The recovery period can be as short as three months, but the average is between four and six months. Even on the low side, Cunningham won’t hit the three-month mark until March, and the Pistons are currently aiming for another lottery season. In addition, side effects such as wound infections, anesthesia-related complications, etc. may occur after surgery. Although the risk of side effects is small, the possibility remains and may further delay the process. recovery.

Cunningham’s partner Rodney McGruder In 2017, he underwent surgery for a stress fracture in his left leg Miami Heat. McGruder ended up returning that season as he underwent surgery in October. McGruder didn’t make his season debut until late February, meaning he missed the first four months of the season.

McGruder didn’t seem to have any more significant problems with his lower leg after the surgery.

If Cunningham skips the non-surgical treatment trial and goes straight to surgery, it will maximize his chances of recovery at the expense of the risks associated with surgery. That said, a return to the court in three to four months would be realistic if the Pistons somehow find themselves in the playoff picture in the final stretch of the season.

After all, Detroit has a bigger picture in mind with Cunningham. Sources say Athletic The Pistons encourage their franchise to get the surgery, but let him decide what he thinks is best for him. Over the past few weeks, Cunningham has been meeting with specialists in an attempt to learn more about the injuries and recovery options.

He turns over every stone before making a decision.

“The long-term implications are not particularly worrisome for Cunningham,” Ciona said. “Provided healing is good, recurrence rates are low and these injuries are not usually associated with long-term performance reduction or longevity issues.”

It’s understandable why Cunningham is taking his time deciding which path he wants to take. Surgery is scary. He is a competitor who certainly feels like he can help the Pistons climb out of the NBA standings cellar. No one wants to be taken away from what they love to do. Rest, however, is no guarantee that the pain will go away and could lead to Cunningham being bothered not only this year, but regularly throughout his career. But then again, surgery isn’t a 100 percent success either.

It’s undoubtedly a tough call, but one Cunningham will have to make in the very near future.

(Cade Cunningham Best Picture: Bob DeChiara-USA Today)





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