FanPost

Hollinger's Description Of Chris Paul's Knee Surgery Is Alarming

I just heard John Hollinger, interviewed on the radio, stating that Chris Paul had the entire meniscus removed from his knee last season. Hollinger said that meant Paul's knee is more problematic than Brandon Roy's.  Gee, do ya think??

First off, I should point out that Hollinger may have heard wrong re/ Paul's surgery.  If so, then "Never mind!" (as Gilda Radner used to say).  Second, I should acknowledge that I'm not an orthopedist.  But like many others who have had multiple knee surgeries (most notably, I had an ACL reconstruction back in '83), I know more than a little about knees.  The physical therapists at the hospital where I had my reconstruction urged me to educate myself by going to the medical library, and I did so--obsessively.

One of the things I learned is that the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is known as "the guardian of the meniscus."  That's because protecting this precious cartilage--the shock absorber-stablizer between the upper & lower leg bones--is it's most vital purpose.  The knee isn't a simple hinge; it rotates as it opens & shuts.  It's the ACL that keeps that rotation within proper perameters.  Without an ACL, the knee can over-rotate (as well as hyperextend), and meniscus tears can result.

Think about that for a moment.  Didn't the Blazers pass on DeJuan Blair twice in the 2nd round because he allegedly had ruptured ACL's in both knees?  Didn't we hear that, with such an injury, meniscus tears are inevitable up the line?  In Blair's case, I felt the risk was worth it.  But there was no arguing that there was cause for concern.  Yet the Trailblazers are allegedly contemplating trading multiple key players--including Nic Batum, Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, and even Brandon Roy himself--for a guy who no longer has the shock absorber-stablizer in his knee that his ACL was designed to protect!

How much worse is Paul's (alleged) situation than Blair's?  In the case of Blair, there is the fear that he'll someday need the kind of minor knee surgery to repair torn cartilage that Brandon Roy had during last season's playoffs.  In the case of Chris Paul, once the bone-on-bone collisions in his knee start causing unbearable pain, the only "solution" will be the dreaded microfracture procedure--designed to create new pseudo-cartilage.  And we Blazer fans know how problematic that procedure is, even for the most minor of knee lesions.

So please: someone explain to me what the Blazers are thinking if they're indeed discussing trading half their core players for Chris Paul.  Talk about 'the grass is always greener" syndrome!  Sure, Paul was great his first four seasons.  But if what Hollinger said is correct, the odds of Paul being great a couple seasons up the line are slim to none.

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