Roland Garros: Rafa Nadal, radiofrequency injections or one last miracle to prolong his career

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The 22-time Grand Slam winner will undergo a quick, low-risk, rapid recovery treatment that could even allow her to play at the next Wimbledon. If that doesn’t work, you’ll only risk leaving the operating room and rehabilitation room.

Rafael Nadal during the Roland Garros final.
Rafael Nadal during the Roland Garros final.yoan ​​valatiEFE

Will there be a miracle or will there be no miracle? That’s the question that runs through the head of Rafael Nadal After lifting his fourteenth Roland Garros with his left leg half asleep. For almost a month, since his return to the Masters 1000 in Rome, he had to anesthetize the area to avoid pain and now, again on top, is involved in a remedy he has tried. “I’m going to undergo some injections with pulsed radiofrequency,” Nadal admitted into the microphone of ‘France 2’ and according to experts, with this treatment he can reduce the difficulty by 50% or 60% in just a few minutes. could. minutes. If all goes well, of course. It may not work either. Will there be a miracle or will there be no miracle? The prospect of playing for two or three years without much pain is already worth testing and studying the treatment: What are pulsed radiofrequency injections?

“The first thing is that this is a treatment that is not going to solve his problem in his Muller-Weiss disease, the scaphoid, but it is going to temporarily stop the pain he feels from it. With pulsed radiofrequency Also, you’re looking for the nerves that lead the injured area, the saphenous nerve, and the posterior tibial nerve to be numb for several months, even years. They don’t get destroyed, they numb. With a very small needle or tube, you’re going to have an ultrasound to explore the nerves and heat waves are applied at about 40 or 42 degrees Celsius. Previously, continuous radiofrequency was used, which would work on the nerves. Now the waves only last milliseconds and the timing is being controlled rapidly so as not to affect it forever. The whole process can take 15 or 20 minutes and less than a minute may have injections,” explains the podiatrist Alfonso Martinez NovaProfessor at the University of Extremadura, who provides more information about these pulsed radiofrequency injections.

One session may be enough, Nadal can leave the clinic on his feet and it will be enough for him to rest for only a few days, maybe a week, afterward. The effect of the injection will be immediate, i.e. if all goes well, if a miracle happens, then his presence at the next Wimbledon, starting June 27, cannot be ruled out. And there are two podiatry clinics specialized in these treatments in Spain, both in Madrid, both with patented techniques, Dr. Gabriel Camunas and Avanfi Clinic, Dr. alvaro ibora,

Why didn’t you do it earlier?

The risk is relatively low and the chances of success are relatively high and then… why hasn’t Nadal had this treatment before? “Because it doesn’t solve his problem. That is, sooner or later Nadal will have to operate on his Muller-Weiss disease. Until now he preferred infiltration, anesthesia, because it’s a more punctual solution. Pulsed radiofrequency The injections offer a greater reduction in pain in the medium term, but they also reduce sensitivity at that point. Your leg will not go numb, as it does during a Roland Garros, but you will not even feel your movements 100% It is also true that the technology has come a long way since it began to be applied about 20 years ago and the sensations get better every time”, comments Martinez Nova, who assures that this treatment is for nerve diseases. was created to solve, aside from the ailments Nadal suffered.

As the tennis player already recognized at the end of Roland Garros, if these injections don’t work, if they don’t ease her pain or if they numb her leg too much, she may withdraw from surgery. Would love to have surgery despite taking the risk of a rehabilitation room. With osteotomy, a resection and repositioning of their necrotic scaphoid, their pain may disappear without losing range of motion, but they will require three to six months of recovery and again no one can 100% guarantee that pain. will go away. In the end, if nothing works for her, she will simply have to give up tennis and undergo an arthrodesis, which will block her entire midfoot and keep her from suffering, though always off limits, for the rest of her life. instead of moving forward with

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