Miami Open: Serena Williams' Withdrawal Puts Spotlight on Knee Injuries

News over the weekend from the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium highlights the prevalence of knee injuries, one of the most common reasons why both professional athletes and weekend warriors alike go see their doctors.

Serena Williams, the 23-time grand slam tennis champion, was forced to withdraw from the Miami Open due to a knee injury.

“I am disappointed to withdraw from the Miami Open due to a left knee injury,” stated Williams, pictured above at the U.S. Open in New York on Sept. 8, 2018 during her women’s single final match against Naomi Osaka. “It was an amazing experience to play at the Hard Rock Stadium this year and would like to thank the Miami Open for putting on an amazing event.”

Details about Ms. Williams’ injury have not been released. Overall, knee injuries drive more than 10 million patient visits to doctors’ offices each year, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery. The injuries include as tears, sprains and fractures.

For people who play certain sports, such as tennis, soccer and football, that involve a lot of quick stops and rotations, a knee injury can take them out of their game.

“Many knee injuries can be treated with rest and rehabilitation, but when a tear or break occurs in the structure of the joint, surgery is usually needed,” said  John Uribe, M.D., orthopedic surgeon and chief medical executive at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute. “The recovery for most patients is four to six weeks, and they can get back to play. Professional tennis players like Serena Williams who need to stop and rotate quickly can sometimes return sooner with the proper treatment and recovery.”

Honored with lifetime board certification from the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Uribe has repaired knee injuries in thousands of patients throughout his more than 40 years as an orthopedic surgeon. He joins fellow Institute physicians, physical therapists and other Baptist Health caregivers who provide medical services to tournament players at the Miami Open and first aid to attendees.

Said Ms. Williams: “I hope to be back next year to play at this one-of-a-kind tournament in front of the incredible fans here in Miami.”

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