Spinal stenosis has never been more popular to the general public than it is this summer, as New York Mets’ third baseman and team captain David Wright battles the condition.
Google and social media are hotbeds of panicked fan questions about spinal stenosis and how it will affect Wright’s season going forward, and ultimately, his career.
In late May, sports media outlets reported that Wright, who had been battling back pain and hamstring tightness since April, would cease baseball activities for at least a week due to this narrowing of his spinal column. He was also prescribed mediation and back and core strengthening exercises with a physical therapist.
Over a month later, online articles continue to be updated, and the nervous questions multiply.
A recent ESPN article says Wright claims his spinal stenosis comes from a variety of factors, including having been born with a narrower spinal cavity than the average person, calcium deposits that accumulated after a 2011 stress fracture, and the long-term effects of discs on swinging a baseball bat and other twisting motions.
Never having met or treated Wright, a surgeon consulted by the sports media leader posited by reading the patient case that his condition could be managed long-term by conservative treatment options. Noting that Wright is treated by world-class surgeons, this doctor’s prognosis was positive.
The Mets were hoping that Wright would be ready to return by the All-Star Break in mid-July, the latest news indicates he won’t be ready to get back to third base for the foreseeable future. He hasn’t been cleared by his medical team, and it will probably be a little while after that before he actually suits up.
The outlook, or prognosis, for spinal stenosis varies and depends on the severity of symptoms at the start of and during treatment. Ultimately, Wright’s outlook depends on how well he responds to treatment. So far, he’s still in recovery. However, there is still hope that he can get back in orange and blue this year, if not for the All-Star Game, perhaps in time for the postseason.