Wednesday, July 19, 2006

NIH: Big Nasty Cut for JP

Well, here it comes, surgery for one Mr. John Patterson, right handed pitcher for the Nationals. It's currently just being called exploritory surgery by a lengthy press release on the Nationals official website. Two sentences, but there's some things to go into there.

First things first: we now have a medical staff in DC? Seems in the past that we kept shipping people off to Ohio whenever they needed any kind of medical work. That's a minor thing, though. The surgery itself. There's a few bits of medical technobabble going on in there, so...some exploration.

First, lacertus fibrosis. So it's off to a website from an actual Ivy League University, so you know it's got to be good. The Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Journal offers a very handy article that explains that a lacertus fibrosis is "the medial fascial expansion of the biceps tendon that lies superficial to these neurovascular structures." So, that clears that up, I hope. Sometimes I'm at a real disadvantage that my degree is in computer science and not polysyllabic medicolingual jargonoscopy.

A slightly easier concept: the medial nerve. That is, quite simply, a huge nerve that runs from the spinal chord just at the base of the neck all the way down to the thumb, pointer, and middle fingers. This is a problem, because it passes through just about every major muscle of the arm and through the infamous Carpal Tunnel, and can thus have problems at multiple points along it's long and lonely journey through the arm. If you'd like a more graphical view, here's a diagram of the medial nerve from a music website (apparently guitarists are also occasionally plagued with problems of this nerve).

So, getting back to the lacertus fibrosis. It's also apparently called the "bicipital aponeurosis" (there's a reason I don't do this as a podcast, my tongue is cramping just thinking about these words), which is right where the bicep ends in the elbow.

So, to sum it all up? Another elbow problem. What's likely going to happen is that Patterson's going to have the inside of his elbow sliced open so the surgeon can poke around with a stick for awhile to see what exactly is wrong with it. Why the press release can't just say so, I don't know.

1 Comments:

At 12:21 AM, Blogger Nate said...

Good stuff. Very enlightening. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting.

 

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