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Is Isaiah Thomas’ hip injury more serious than thought?

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Thomas’ injury could possibly put a dent in the Celtics’ appeal to free agents.

NBA: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Addressing Isaiah Thomas’ hip situation, Brad Stevens said, per ESPN,

Everybody that I have talked to said it looked unlikely that they would need to [perform surgery]. But I don't want to speak in absolutes. I'm not a doctor, just a coach.

Previously Bleacher Reports wrote,

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge told reporters Friday that while point guard Isaiah Thomas is doing "much better," his hip injury could still require surgery at some point during the offseason.

Something doesn’t add up here, especially with the recruitment of Gordon Hayward on the line. On deciding between the Miami Heat and Celtics, the status of Thomas’ health is of utmost importance. Should he be hampered, the Celtics season may go in a totally different direction than predicted. Or else they may adapt successfully, as they did in the playoffs.

According to the Bleacher Report article previously cited, the hip injury has a very scientific name,

Thomas gutted his way through the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the Celtics shut him down after he aggravated the right femoral-acetabular impingement with labral tear he initially suffered in March.

A scientific paper wrote,

In general, for properly selected cases, hip arthroscopy has a high rate of improvement, but does not always assure returning to the rigors of athletic activities. Among a heterogenous group of athletes, 93% were improved, but only 76% returned to their sport symptom-free and unrestricted or at an increased level of performance. Eighteen percent either chose to not return or were unable to return to their primary sport. Among a group of elite athletes, 96% were improved, but only 85% were able to successfully return to their sport.

Another source was more pessimistic on the outcomes of hip surgeries for that injury.

The real success rate of surgery for femoral acetabular impingement is unfortunately nowhere near 80%.

A study published in January of 2013 investigated the relationship between patient expectations and hip surgery and overall satisfaction. In it, they looked at people’s goals for hip surgery (pain relief, improved mobility, etc.) and their satisfaction with the outcomes of surgery after 12 months.

hip injury surgery results

Not being a doctor either, I agree with Brad Stevens when said only time will tell how serious the injury is, especially on its long-lasting effect, if any, on Thomas. The Heat know all too well what seemed like a minor problem at the beginning, could end up a lot more serious than thought at the time. Or time may give the body a chance to heal itself.