What happens when a separated shoulder won’t heal Rudy Gay

rudy gay signRudy Gay is one of the NBA’s unsung heroes. He goes out day after day to work hard and being a professional basketball player. He’s strung together a pretty decent career and managed to stay injury free until now.

Today was a bad day for him as he’ll need surgery to repair a separated shoulder. He injured the shoulder back on February 15, 2011 and was told to sit, rest and wait for the healing to begin. It never healed. Dr. James Andrews was consulted and the recommendation was surgery.

All this is odd considering the injury happened on a shot and not during a traumatic event like a fall. The NBA doesn’t allow embedding of the video, but you can watch it by clicking on the link.

Team owner Michael Heisley said:

The doctors told me that there was some risk because of the way it was healing. We hoped against hope that we would get him back for the playoffs. He’s a major force. It’s tough. But there’s nothing we can do about. He’s a young guy. He has his career in front of him. We’ve got to do what’s best for his career.

There is a key statement in that statement about the way it was healing. A separated shoulder is when the top of your shoulder is affected, the acromioclavicular joint. This differs from a dislocation where the side of the shoulder is affected.

What is interesting is that the separated shoulder isn’t just a pop it in place and go sort of thing. This is structural in nature and can be one of six severities. Anything past a severity two requires surgery and the surgery just isn’t a snip, snip, done.

McDavid Thermal Shoulder Wrap with Gel Pack

Rudy’s shoulder didn’t respond to rest and rehab, so shoulder surgery became the only option. He should do fine after surgery, but the risks associated with shoulder surgery include:

  1. Arthritis
  2. Loss of strength
  3. Loss of flexibility
  4. Loss of motion

For those Rudy fans, enjoy a clip of his best dunks:

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