By Manuel Martinez
Dr. Arthur Bartolozzi is a reconstructive orthopedic surgery specialist in the Jefferson Health system and he has the good news Sixers fans want to hear, even though he is not treating and has not treated Joel Embiid.
But what exactly does all this mean for Embiid and the 76ers? In a video on his ever-popular YouTube channel, Dr. Brian Sutterer, MD breaks down the injury—and Embiid’s chance of returning to the playoffs.
“To be honest, when I first saw this live, I didn’t think of any specific obvious injury pattern just because this doesn’t look like a classic mechanism for anything,” Dr. Sutterer says. “Guys are constantly falling, bending their legs and twisting their knees in funny ways, and [end up] being just fine.”
When replaying the tape with the MRI diagnosis in mind, Dr. Sutterer points out where a sudden flexion of the knee happens, during which the joint turns inward slightly.
“If we think of our meniscus sitting within that knee joint to provide some cushioning, some shock absorption and some force distribution throughout the knee, the meniscus gets loaded whenever that knee is put into more flexion, specifically more of the back and middle portion of the meniscus,” he says. “That transition from a straight knee to a suddenly, rapidly flexed knee with a little bit of inward lean on the right knee, is probably when the meniscus tear could have happened.”
Dr. Sutterer says Embiid being listed as day-to-day is a good sign that he could return to the court this season, even if he has to undergo a surgery in the off-season to get back in long-term playing condition. But, he adds, there are a lot of unknowns that could influence the decision, the biggest being the size and location of the tear.