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Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Doctor: More going on in Stoudemire's knee

By Jared Zwerling

When news broke Monday night that Amar'e Stoudemire would be out another six to eight weeks, it sparked a lot of speculation as to the root of his left knee problem.

But one renowned orthopedist strongly believes that Stoudemire's recovery from the ruptured popliteal cyst isn't the only thing he's facing.

"Something else is going on in his knee besides the Baker's cyst," said Stephen E. Blythe, a Miami surgeon who's been practicing for more than 40 years and has experience treating pro athletes. "It's unusual to rest someone that long. I'd be looking at really what's wrong with the inside of his knee that causes a Baker's cyst, and how is that going to affect things?"

The doctor said that because Stoudemire is a patient of microfracture surgery in 2005, he already has some damaged bone in his knee. Therefore, some degenerative changes could have been giving him trouble lately, resulting in the popliteal cyst. While the doctor said that many regular people have asymptomatic Baker's cysts, Stoudemire's was likely larger and more symptomatic.

But even if it ruptured, and may have required a surgical procedure to clean up the inside of his knee, it wouldn't take up to eight weeks for Stoudemire to return.

"The cyst doesn't add any stability or instability to the knee at all," Blythe said. "It just bulges out in the back of your knee, and most of the time, it's symptomatic when it gets large enough that it causes mechanical symptoms in the back of the knee. But when it ruptures, the inflammation, bleeding and so forth usually go away fairly quickly."

The doctor said there is likely more knowledge on Stoudemire's knee that is yet to be released.

"There's information there that you don't know about," he said. "It sounds to me like (the Knicks) are just giving some information, but not full information about what's going in the knee. The only way you'll know if there's more to it than what they say is if the team or the surgeons are willing to give that info to you."

What we do know, however, is that Stoudemire's left knee will never be 100 percent again. In fact, another orthopedist surgeon who currently works for a championship-contending team said, "Stoudemire's knees, at this point in his career, are like a 70-year-old's." (His right knee has also been operated on.)

Knicks fans may have to deal with the reality that STAT's minutes could be curtailed, but he can still be effective in the time he plays. Perhaps that's more with the second unit?

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