NHL

Walshy’s World: The Clipped Wing

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(Ed’s note: When news broke this afternoon that Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski went under the knife to his have his knee scoped, our resident health and fitness expert Cameron Walsh jumped into action to explain what exactly goes on during an arthroscopic knee procedure.)

By Cameron Walsh

Mr Rafalski underwent an arthroscope on his knee on the 12th of October, I figured since these are such a common occurrence these days I would go over the operation quickly. The reason that the Wings blueliner will be back on the ice so quickly is the incisions (typically around 5mm in diameter) into the knee are so small the surgery is much less invasive than an open knee surgery. This is why the Red Wings are expecting him back early November at the latest.

The reason for the operation is Rafalski has some loose particles, according to GM Ken Holland, how they got there, I couldn’t find out any more information, it is normally just wear and tear, and well Rafalski has been on the ice and banged around now since the 1999-2000 season in the NHL and 9 seasons before that, so the knees can take a bit of a beating. Especially for a defenseman who is considered a touch undersized.

Just quickly this style of operation is used for other knee disorders some of these you will find common place in the world of hockey others more so in other sports or just general life:

•             Cruciate ligament tears

•             Meniscal tears

•             Removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage

•             Removal of cysts

•             Reconstruction of the Anterior Cruciate ligament

•             Abnormal alignment or instability of the knee-cap

Here is a simple diagram showing how a ‘scope’ can be conducted, you will note there will only need to be 3 small incisions into the knee for the procedure.

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About Brian Metzer

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Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Brian Metzer has been covering the Pittsburgh Penguins and National Hockey League since 2004. He is the host of Penguins Live Weekly, a show that airs Saturday mornings on 105.9 the X and iHeart Radio. He serves as the Pittsburgh Penguins correspondent for NHL Network Radio on SiriusXM, and is the NHL and Penguins correspondent for the Beaver County Times. Metzer is also a contributing writer for NHL.com and is the primary contributor for this site www.fromthepoint.com.

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3 Comments

  1. Evilpens

    October 13, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Every time I see Cysts I think of “Cysts On the Walls of Her Lungs” See if anyone knows the Movie that came From?? : )

  2. Evilpens

    October 13, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Oh Hey Walshy does Injuring an area Like an Ankle make you more to get Arthritis ? I have Severely sprained both ankles Twice Growing up ?? had to get an X-Ray on 3 of the 4 occasions

  3. Walshy

    October 13, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Only spraining it 3 or 4 times you should be ok, but chronic ankle problems ie surgeries can create a pre-disposition to arthritis later on in life.