David Wright missed the entirety of the 2017. In the previous two seasons before that combined, he appeared in just 75 games total while dealing with a plethora of injuries including spinal stenosis.
The third baseman had his rehab shut down late this past season, a sign many believed could signal the end to Wright’s illustrious career as a Met. However, his most recent laminotomy procedure was done so that he has a better chance of returning to big league action.
According to a report by Abbey Mastracco of New Jersey Advanced Media, Dr. Andrew Hecht, orthopedic surgeon and chief of spine surgery for the Mount Sinai Health System who is familiar with Dr. Robert Watkins, Wright’s surgeon in Los Angeles, said that this surgery gives him a better chance of returning.
Hecht, who has performed laminotomy procedures on several athletes including members of the Jets and Islanders, also said the success rate in returning from this procedure is high and the recovery process is quick. It will also help mitigate the effects and pain of spinal stenosis.
For those who don’t know, laminotomy is described as an “orthopedic neurosurgical procedure that removes part of the lamina of a vertebral arch in order to relieve pressure in the vertebral canal.”
“Laminotomy is an operation typically done to relieve pressure on a nerve,” Dr. Hecht told New Jersey Advance Media. “The two most common reasons to get laminotomies is for people who have what’s called spinal stenosis or a disk herniation. In David Wright’s case, he has spinal stenosis, so what that does is it creates extra room for the nerve to relieve the compression that’s being placed upon it. It’s a very straightforward procedure with a high success rate.”
Hecht added that the typical rehabilitation period is about three months.
While Wright still has to deal with the disk fusion surgery and rotator cuff surgery he underwent, which will still take 6-9 months to rehab, the laminotomy procedure can help greatly reduce pain in the buttocks or upper thighs caused by nerve compression.
It’s a procedure that is typically done when all other options have been exhausted, but one that is necessary in Wright’s case. The 34-year-old has done all he could to go the conservative route up to this point.
“After a rehab period, that will be, hopefully, put in the rearview mirror so David Wright can resume active participation in professional baseball,” Brecht told New Jersey Advanced Media. “All of this is to try and get him as pain-free as humanly possible to his ability to play baseball is his decision and not anyone else’s.”