Possible Diagnoses For Ben Simmons
In regards to Ben Simmons and his back injury, we are all hoping for the best-case scenario. I was able to speak with an experienced spinal surgeon to get an idea of what timetable to expect. From the limited information we have so far, there are multiple possibilities and permutations based on the symptoms:
- If it is just muscular it is usually a day to day situation. 1-2 weeks maximum, need to be cautious with him to not re-aggravate.
- A more serious issue like a Facet Joint injury or strain can take 4-6 weeks to heal and must be managed with rest. This is accompanied by a steroid shot into the joint under live X-ray, this is usually more than a nuisance issue or muscle issue but not as serious as a Disc issue.
- Then there is a fracture that can be fixed if it is the vertebrae itself, with cement under X-ray guidance. Other fractures like a stress fracture or a transverse process fracture can’t be fixed but can heal quickly in 6-8 weeks maximum. It could be 4-6 weeks but usually, vertebral fractures take longer.
- Last, there are two disc injuries. A disc tear in the fibrous capsule that causes mostly back and hip pain that doesn’t do well with steroid shots and can take a while to heal but does so without issue most of the time, especially within a world-class athlete like Ben Simmons. Then obviously is a herniated disc which can cause a bad radiating pain as well as weakness and often responds to steroid shots under x-ray guidance but can require surgery. This can take months to heal, let alone play.
Of course, pinpointing what exactly is wrong with Simmons’ back is all speculation to this point. Since Ben’s camp is involved in what the next steps are, we should all understand that this isn’t a minor injury.