Plates and screws look like the norm, like Kyle Shewfelt's but Kyle's getting his plate removed after the Olympics.
[QUOTE]Lubbers repaired the broken fourth metacarpal in Hamm's right hand Tuesday, inserting a thin plate and nine screws to return the bone to its original alignment. The surgery at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, went "very well," Lubbers said, and the gymnast could be doing resistance exercises within a week.
Hamm hopes to be back on gymnastics equipment in five weeks; the men's competition in Beijing starts Aug. 9, about 10 1/2 weeks from now.[/QUOTE]
To get ready in time for the Beijing Olympics, and sooner to train:
[QUOTE]To do that, Lubbers said he is using every physiological application he can to speed Hamm's healing. That included taking some of Hamm's cells that promote bone growth, adding spongy bone material from cadavers and spreading the mixture around the site of the fracture. That should make the break heal even faster.
"Normally we wouldn't do that. But here in this case we've got a very elite athlete, and we're looking for every possible way to enhance his recovery and strengthen bone healing," Lubbers said.
"The first phase of treatment went very well, and I'm quite pleased with that," Lubbers added. "Now we're down to the hard working part."[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]"The key to his recovery is getting off to a fast start," Lubbers said. "We want to get to where we would be at Week 4 at Week 2. We've tried to accelerate every part of the recovery process to shave a day or week off of each segment so he can get back to full time with his normal conditioning."[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]The key in the first few days after surgery is reducing the swelling in Hamm's hand so he won't lose range of motion. He's wearing special compression bandages to help that, and will probably continue to wear a compression glove when the bandages are removed Thursday.
Hamm will begin physical therapy on Thursday with range of motion exercises. Resistance work -- starting with something like putty -- could start next week, Lubbers said.
"We want to prevent muscle atrophy and keep his arm strong and also have it heal fast enough so he can be back training somewhere in the four- to seven-week time frame, hopefully sooner rather than later," Lubbers said.[/QUOTE]
Muscle atrophy sucks.
[QUOTE]Hamm also will be doing conditioning work to keep the rest of his body in shape, and he didn't waste any time starting on that. He spent several hours in the gym Monday, including doing some strength work on the still rings, and could resume conditioning by Friday or Saturday.
Hamm will do a lot of upper body work and core strength, Avery said. One thing that should help is that Hamm was in the best shape of his life before the injury.
"His routines were very easy for him," Avery said. "We'll do a ton of conditioning ... so when he is ready, his body is so fit it takes to gymnastics easily."
Why Paul will make the Olympic team with his hand ready:
[QUOTE]Despite a 2 1/2-year layoff -- unheard of in elite gymnastics -- he's been better than ever this year. Hamm injured his hand in the final seconds of his parallel bars routine last Thursday, yet still finished preliminaries at the U.S. gymnastics championships with an almost four-point lead.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]Hamm must petition for a spot on the Olympic team because he'll miss the trials next month in Philadelphia. Provided he is healthy, USA Gymnastics is certain to grant the petition.
Hamm, after all, is the only American man to win the world title (2003) and Olympic gold medal (2004), and had firmly established himself as a favorite to defend his title in Beijing.
"With four or five weeks of doing routines," Avery said, "he'll get back to this level." [/QUOTE]
It would be fun for Blaine Wilson to be on the team again too. :)