Tennis: Nadal appears on crutches after a first radiofrequency session

The video is only a few seconds long, but it has already made the rounds on social media. We see Rafael Nadal, blue polo shirt and white Bermuda shorts, extricating himself from a car in front of the entrance to Palma de Mallorca airport on Tuesday, supported by two crutches. Despite a precarious balance, the player with 22 Grand Slam titles even stops to sign an autograph for a supporter present. Above all, a discreet bandage is visible on his left ankle.

The sign that the Spaniard suffered well on Tuesday, just two days after his coronation on Parisian clay, his first radiofrequency session in a specialized and renowned clinic in Barcelona. But time was running out for the man with 22 Grand Slam titles.

This new treatment, perhaps that of the last chance, is supposed to reduce the suffering that the player, victim of the syndrome of Muller-Weiss, feels permanently in his left foot. As a reminder, this rare and incurable pathology affects a foot bone – the navicular bone – and inflicts chronic pain on it.

“The intervention consists of pulsed radiofrequency injections (by applying an electric current to the nerve) to reduce the feeling of permanent pain in the foot, Rafa explained after his coronation in Paris on Sunday. The aim is to permanently deactivate the nerve. »

Rafael Nadal and his entourage, including Spanish Tennis Federation doctor Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, should find out quickly if this treatment is working and relieving pain. Otherwise, the player may be required to undergo more extensive surgery. An operation that could also decide the rest of Rafa’s career.

“With this treatment, the nerve is temporarily numb, explained in a press release Wednesday, the day after the session, the player’s entourage. Rafa is already at home, and will be 3 or 4 days with normal maintenance physical activity, continues the player’s entourage in a press release. After that, depending on the progress of the treatment and provided it is positive, he will return to training on the pitch. We do not exclude the possibility of a second treatment depending on the evolution of the treatment in the coming week.”

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