This week Dr. Donnelly was interviewed by WWL Radio in New Orleans regarding Drew Brees’ hand rehab. Below you can listen to the three part interview. Dr. Donnelly’s opinions are based on an assumption of care. Dr. Donnelly is not actively involved in Brees’ treatment or rehabilitation.
It has been Six Weeks of Drew Brees’ Hand Rehab. Now What?
The Saints take on the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday and its the sixth week since Drew Brees injured his thumb. Medical professionals agree that 6-8 weeks is the normal recovery time for this type of injury, especially with the InternalBrace™. So, will we see Drew throw this Sunday? Dr. Brandon Donnelly, orthopedic hand specialist at Pontchartrain Orthopedics & Sports Medicine says, “I think it’s possible to go back to 100% at the 6-8 week mark, given the fact that he’s able to rehab earlier and get back using the hand more normally.” He goes on to say the external brace Drew will be wearing on his thumb will help prevent a similar injury.
“I tell all of my patients that pain is actually a good thing– the body is telling us ‘hey, slow down, we may be moving it a little too hard.’”Brandon P. Donnelly, MD
Can Pain Be a Good Thing?
In the case of Drew Brees’ hand rehab, feeling pain may not be a bad thing. Drew’s rehab is on schedule and last week he graduated from throwing a Nerf football to the real thing, the NFL football.
Dr. Donnelly explained what Drew’s probably feeling in the hand as he gets back to normal: “He may not be feeling pain. By this time now it’s stiffness, soreness, or achiness. I tell all of my patients that pain is actually a good thing– the body is telling us ‘hey, slow down, we may be moving it a little too hard.’” Drew, his doctors, and coaches, will be listening.
“Biomechanically, we don’t believe that the ligament is at pure, full strength for about three months after the repair.”Brandon P. Donnelly, MD
What About the External Brace on Drew’s Thumb?
Reports are that Drew is throwing the football with the help of an exterior brace on his injured thumb.
Dr. Donnelly explains how Drew can come back with a brace: “That’s just to protect it. Bio-mechanically, we don’t believe that the ligament is at pure, full strength for about three months after the repair.”
He goes on to say that this brace will not only helpo during Drew Brees’ Hand Rehab, but will also give Drew extra stability and protect it from potential injuries similar to the initial one that could tear the repair.
About Dr. Donnelly
Dr. Brandon P. Donnelly is a native of Slidell, LA. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in biological sciences from Cornell University. After receiving his medical degree from Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, where he was awarded the Orthopedic Surgery award.
Before joining Pontchartrain Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, he completed a hand and microsurgery fellowship at the prestigious Philadelphia Hand Center. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Donnelly is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in injuries and ailments of the hand, wrist, and elbow.
If you have a hand injury and would like to have it evaluated by our area’s leading hand specialist, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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