Bulls guard suffered torn ulnar collateral ligament
(November 11, 2008 - Chicago, IL) Chicago Bulls' guard Kirk Hinrich underwent repair of a torn ulnar collateral ligament of his right thumb today at Rush University Medical Center under the care and guidance of surgeons from Midwest Orthopaedics that included Drs. John Fernandez, Mark Cohen, and Brian Cole.
Hinrich injured his thumb during the third quarter of Chicago's win over Phoenix on November 7. Hinrich says the injury occurred as he tried to take the ball from the Suns' Amare Stoudemire. "I swiped down to try to take the ball," Hinrich said. "It felt like I hyperextended it. I came off shaking my hand. I was shocked when I found out I tore a ligament and I'm looking at a significant amount of time."
Hinrich was examined on November 8 by Dr. Fernandez and Dr. Cole, Chicago Bulls head team physician. The results of that exam confirmed the earlier MRI, which showed a torn ulnar collateral ligament of the right thumb.
"When the collateral ligaments actually tear, the metacarpophalangeal joint becomes very unstable—especially when the thumb is bent backwards," says Dr. Cohen. "If one of the ligaments pulls away from the bone and folds backwards, as in the case with Mr. Hinrich's injury, the ligament can't heal correctly by itself and surgery is required to repair the damage."
Hinrich may be out of action as long as 12 weeks. "As soon as the splint is removed, Kirk will be able to begin rehab right way," says Dr. Cole. "Despite repairing the ligament, it can take time for proper healing to withstand the rigors of contact play that could otherwise compromise the outcome." adds Dr. Fernandez.