NBA Injury Analysis: LaVine, Valanciunas Set for Extended Absences
NBA Injury Analysis: LaVine, Valanciunas Set for Extended Absences

This article is part of our NBA Injury Analysis series.

NBA injury guru Jeff Stotts checks in on the key injuries around the league impacting fantasy leagues.

Markelle Fultz

76ers guard Markelle Fultz remains out indefinitely, though a name has finally been given to his mysterious shoulder ailment. After multiple meetings with shoulder specialists, Fultz has been diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).

The thoracic outlet region is formed by the first rib, the collarbone, and the surrounding musculature. A bundle of nerves runs through this narrow passageway along with arteries and veins. TOS is a collection of issues that result when these structures become pinched or impinged in three possible locations. Multiple reasons for an impingement in the thoracic outlet region also exist including anatomical variation present from birth. These defects include having an extra rib in the area or an elongated cervical vertebra. Repetitive motion and trauma can also lead to TOS with symptoms that may be slow to develop.

TOS is a relatively common in Major League Baseball, especially for pitchers. Matt Harvey, Josh Beckett, and Phil Hughes all missed time in recent seasons due to TOS-related issues. However, the condition is seemingly rare in basketball.

Treatment is often dictated by the type of structure being pinched. Fultz's case is being described as neurogenic TOS, meaning it involves the nerves. Symptoms from this type of TOS can include weakened grip strength, headaches, and numbness and tingling into the extremity. It can also result in muscle fatigue and, in some prolonged cases, muscle atrophy and diminished fine motor

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Stotts
Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
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