Don’t expect Isaiah Thomas’ injured right hip to halt him from his goal of becoming one of the NBA’s top players year-in and year-out. Thomas is meeting with specialists this week and could potentially go under the knife. That should not be cause for alarm in Boston, however, according to Orthopedic Hip Surgeon and Sports Medicine expert Dr. Derek Ochiai.
“I don’t think I’d call it career-threatening by any means,” Ochiai told Metro on Monday. “It’s a very common injury. It’s not that unusual. There are several professional athletes from a lot of different sports who have had this type of condition. Nowadays it can absolutely be treated.”
According to Ochiai, Thomas has FAI (femoroacetabular impingement) in the hip.
“It’s a condition where the hip – it’s supposed to be a round on round joint, like round ball, round socket,” Ochiai said. “But people with FAI, their hip is ‘out of round.’ It’s not a round on round joint in certain positions of motion. That can cause increased pressure on the labrum and the cartilage around the outside of the hip joint. And over time that can cause a labral tear, or tearing of the cartilage away from the bone.”
Thomas may have to get hip arthroscopy, according to Ochiai, where they reshape the bone. But Ochiai believes Thomas should be back before the start of the 2017-18 NBA season.
“Usually a professional baseball player would come back in about 10 weeks,” Ochiai said. “For a basketball player, they’re going to be cutting more and there’s more change of direction. It would probably be about four and a half months.”
The NBA season doesn’t start until the end of October, and Thomas should be fully healed by that time.
Dr. Derek Ochiai operates out of Arlington, Virginia