In the midst of the Rio 2016 World Olympics, the Wall Street Journal takes an interesting perspective on the Olympics and explores what would happen if Olympian Michael Phelps were to hang all of his 22 gold medals around his neck. The WSJ sports editor asked our orthopedic surgeon Dr. Armin Tehrany to discuss the possible impact this would have on Phelps’ neck and knees. 🙂
Phelps, who has celebrated the highest achievements in four different Olympics starting from Athens 2004 until this year’s leading sporting event in Rio 2016, is a proud owner of gold medals which weigh approximately 13.5 pounds in total. The golds handed out in the different Olympics weigh different amounts, but the ultimate heaviest is this year’s 1.1-pound medal.
So, is the champion swimmer’s neck built to sustain such weight? Dr. Tehrany explains:
“We have a lot of people who don’t even have any weight who are constantly bending their necks down to look at their phones, and they get strains in their muscles from no weight at all.”
Dr. Tehrany further discusses that even a swimmer of his rank, who is extremely well-built, could end up with a pinched nerve, neck pain and numbness in the hands, the wrist and the fingers after a couple of days.
All in all, despite the fact that the master of the stroke has superior technique which has helped him earn all of his 22 gold medals, it definitely does not mean that he should risk an injury wearing all that bling at once.
Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal, here.