Understanding Brooks Lee’s Spinal Injury and Its Impact on Baseball Players

Minnesota Twins’ top prospect, Brooks Lee, has been sidelined with a back injury, forcing him to extend his time away from the game for at least an additional month. Lee’s condition was recently diagnosed as a herniated disc, after initially being treated for back spasms at the onset of the minor league season.

A herniated disc results from the protrusion of the disc’s soft core through its tougher outer layer, often due to intense rotational motion coupled with vertical force—a movement similar to a baseball swing. Acute herniations can put pressure on adjacent nerves or the spinal cord, causing symptoms such as pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs.

Despite the severity of his condition, herniated discs are common and typically resolve without needing surgery. Professional athletes, especially baseball players, have a high incidence of asymptomatic disc herniations, and those with symptoms generally have successful returns to play. Non-surgical recovery averages around six months, while post-surgery returns can take about eight months.

Lee is reportedly halfway through a recommended eight-week rehabilitation program, supervised by a renowned back specialist in the United States, Dr. Robert Watkins. The focus of the rehabilitation is to build core and lower back strength and decrease nerve irritation. In some cases, cortisone injections may be administered to reduce nerve inflammation.

Most individuals with disc herniations recover within the eight-week rehabilitation window and are able to resume their activities.

Source: Twins Daily

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