As the 2015-16 season came to a close with the Cleveland Cavaliers defeating the defending champion Golden State Warriors in an epic seven-game series, the world watched as two of the NBA’s finest players (LeBron James and Stephen Curry) faced off in the NBA Finals.
By now, even most casual sports fan will have become aware of the exploits of NBA MVP Stephen Curry, whose record-breaking season propelled the Warriors to an NBA-record 73 wins this season. However, what many fans won’t know is that Curry’s now-glistening career was almost cut short by a series of ankle injuries.
Curry, who makes his living fooling defenders with masterful misdirection, was undone early in his career by weak ankles that were failing him. The two-time MVP suffered through five sprained ankles in the 26 games he could muster in the season following an unsuccessful reconstructive surgery on his right ankle in 2011.
After a second surgery and two years’ worth of strenuous rehabilitation, physical therapy and muscle-building exercise to strengthen his ankles, Curry also worked with therapists to move the bulk of the stress from his ankles to his hips, where most of his explosion on the court comes from today. The hard road of rehab brought Curry back to the court with confidence and he now boasts NBA-best statistics and accolades.
It is important to remember that surgery isn’t always the cure-all solution, even for the world’s most elite athletes, but can be a valuable tool to help manage sports injuries. Ankle arthroscopy can allow removal of painful inflamed joint tissue, and lateral ankle stabilization procedures can strengthen ligaments weakened by multiple strains.
It will take cooperation with the plan set out by your healthcare professionals in order to get you back to your fighting best. Surgery alone wasn’t the cure for Stephen Curry and by following the rigorous plan set out by his medical team, he now ranks among the world’s greatest athletes.