Markelle Fultz Diagnosed With Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: a Little Clarity
Finally, clarity. It’s what Markelle Fultz and the 76ers have been striving for since the two were paired together in the 2017 NBA draft. The well-documented history of his shoulder and shot can be read in my last article about my theory (which has now been debunked), so this article will be a look into what exactly Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is.
The region known as the thoracic outlet is the space made from the first rib and the clavicle (collarbone). There are many nerves and blood vessels which run through said space. You may have seen athletes who have “stingers” and such; what they’re referring to is an injury to the nerve bundle that runs through the thoracic outlet. The most common causes of injury to the area are trauma or repetitive motion.
Symptoms of an injury include neck, shoulder, and arm pain, numbness, and/or circulation issues. This would make sense as to why Fultz completely forgot how to shoot.
Treatment for TOS usually starts with physical therapy, which Markelle Fultz will begin as stated by Adrian Wojnarowski. Unfortunately, if conservative treatment does not provide an answer, surgery could be an option. Wojnarowski reported that Fultz would be re-evaluated in 3-6 weeks following his bout of physical therapy.
There’s no telling how Fultz may have incurred the injury. Honestly, TOS is not very common in the basketball. It more prevalent in baseball, as players such as Matt Harvey, Chris Carpenter, and Matt Harrison have dealt with TOS. Let’s just hope that he can return to full strength and fulfill his potential.