Monday, May 6, 2013

David's Surgery - The Official Version

Update (10/05)
No news, no interviews so far.

Update (08/05)
David has arrived back home, rehabilitation process about to begin (source).

News about David usually come from different sources. From the various news sites or journalists and their Twitters, sometimes even from David's camp or from David, himself. And then there's a special kind of source, one that I was hoping I wouldn't have to use anymore - doctors and clinics and their medical communiques. But as it turns out, the Clínica Mapfre de Medicina del Tenis, Dr. Ruiz-Cotorro's new headquarters in Barcelona, has its own website and more about David's injuries and surgeries.

Their article contains what could be called a summary of recent proceedings. Including the official diagnosis and reason why David underwent surgery. And apparently, he was in a worse state than his camp initially told the media. Here's the clinic's version, as published yesterday:
The player [i.e. David] travelled to Barcelona for a review and to have additional necessary tests conducted by Dr. Ruiz-Cotorro, his personal doctor, at the Clínica Mapfre de Medicina del Tenis.

In order to speed up the tennis player's recovery, for the sake of the next Davis Cup tie, it was decided to carry out the double intervention.

The player had a ruptured rotator cuff plus a Type 2 SLAP lesion on his right shoulder. On his right hip, he had a labral tear. According to Dr. Cotorro, "these types of injuries are very common among professional tennis players."

The double surgery, performed by the doctors Philippon, Vilaró and Ruiz-Cotorro took six hours and was conducted at the Clínica Teknon in Barcelona.

The player is making progress as planned and he was released today. The estimated recovery time is between four and six months during which he'll have to undergo a very intense process of rehabilitation under the supervision of his personal physiotherapist Diego Rodriguez in Argentina, as well as several check-ups at the Clínica Mapfre de Medicina del Tenis in Spain.

The doctors Philippon, Ruiz-Cotorro and Vilaró expressed their satisfaction after surgery, which confirmed the diagnosis ahead of the intervention.
The part about a rupture in his rotator cuff is complete news to me. As is the existence of a fully formed labral tear in his right hip. This means it was the exact same injury again that he also had on his left hip. Which doesn't make it any easier to be optimistic about David's chances of returning in time for the Davis Cup semifinal. After all, the estimated four to five months recovery time after his first hip surgery turned into eight months (and then due to an abdominal tear eventually ended up being nine months).

What this article and basically every other piece of news I've seen have in common is the Davis Cup semifinal as the big goal. His injuries, as described here, must've made it impossible for him to go on playing and postpone surgery until after the tie. But just like in all the other articles and tweets I've seen there's no mention of any plans beyond the semifinal (except for the exhibition in November).
We'll have to wait and see what he has to say if he talks to the media when he returns to Argentina.


  1. :(
    That's about all I can think of to "say" right now.

  2. The fact that David was playing polo would indicate to me that the rotator cuff problem wasn't too severe. You couldn't possibly swing a polo mallet with a complete tear. Your arm literally hangs with a complete tear. Of course that begs the question why the hell was he playing polo with a damaged shoulder in the first place. I'm sure they imaged it. Maybe he whiffed on a ball and damaged it. With David, the true story is always hard to find. Questions, questions. Like the numbness. Is that from the SLAP injury or the rotator cuff rupture? And the hip surgery, as you say, Julia, is just like the last one only on the opposite side. I would have to think that recovering (four to five months) and being able to play in September is an absolute pipe dream. Mostly because of the hip. I'm sure all the details will be revealed soon. Do you ever feel like you're a medical spokeswoman, Julia?

  3. Well, I feel like a spokeswoman who has to deliver a different version of what's going on every other day. Then again, the feeling that you never really, actually get to know what's going on is the standard situation to be in for all David fans and bloggers. It's just more pronounced in this kind of scenario.

    As far I know (doesn't have to mean anything) they did image his shoulder because of the numbness but were not able to identify the problem. And SLAP tears don't necessarily cause a lot of pain, which is one of the reasons why they're difficult to diagnose. So apparently there was no diagnosis at first, he played polo and that probably made it worse because afterwards he went straight back to see his doctors and then came the trip to Ruiz-Cotorro. In any case, as you say, the rotator cuff injury can't have been extremely bad.
    As for the hip, well, knowing now that he had another labral tear we also know that David and his camp (and Jaite) were playing the same game again as back in 2008/9. At the very least since the off-season, which was when I first saw rumours about another hip injury. Who knows when it really started. Or if we'll ever find out. Anyway, I guess we all remember David's comeback after the first hip surgery and how smoothly that went... So no, I don't really see the DC SF happening, either.

  4. I wonder if David will keep getting surgeries after he (officially) retires