Prominent Beverly Hills Orthopedic Surgeon Comments On Kobe Bryant’s Rotator Cuff Tear

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Dr. Steven Meier, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Los Angeles, discusses the implications of Kobe Bryant’s latest injury announcement.

Los Angeles Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Steven Meier

The tendons can suffer a full or partial tear, and at this point it’s still too early to tell how much damage Kobe’s shoulder has suffered.”

Less than a year after suffering a knee injury, ESPN LA reported on January 23, 2015 that Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder. It is still unclear if the injury will force Bryant to forfeit the rest of the season, but should team doctors determine that surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff is necessary, he will most likely miss the rest of the season.

“The length and duration of Kobe’s recovery time, and whether or not he will be able to continue playing for the season will depend on the extent of his injury. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that allow movement as well as provide stability to the shoulder,” said Dr. Steven Meier, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert in Beverly Hills. “The tendons can suffer a full or partial tear, and at this point it’s still too early to tell how much damage Kobe’s shoulder has suffered.”

For his part, Kobe Bryant is remaining optimistic that his latest injury will not affect his game. "I've played on a torn labrum before," he told reporters. "I'm not too concerned about it.”

The treatment options for rotator cuff tears range from conservative, non-surgical options, to surgery, depending on the severity of the tear and extent of damage. The typical treatment options include:

Immobilizing the shoulder in a sling to limit movement and rest the shoulder joint

Icing the shoulder to treat swelling

Physical therapy and strength training

Anti-inflammatory medication and pain relievers like Advil and Motrin

If the injury does not respond to conservative treatments, an orthopedic surgeon may determine that surgery is the best option. Rotator cuff tears are usually repaired by a minimally invasive surgical procedure known as arthroscopic surgery, where the surgeon makes several small incisions around the injured joint to repair the damaged tendon. It is generally considered safer and conducive to shorter recovery time for most patients.

Steven Meier, M.D. is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor in Beverly Hills, California. As a renowned expert in the most advanced techniques for shoulder and knee surgery, Dr. Meier is highly sought-after for his cutting-edge joint preservation and restoration procedures. He graduated with honors from Loyola Medical School in Chicago, received his residency training at Northwestern University, and completed his fellowship in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery at the University of California San Diego. To learn more about Dr. Meier and his practice, please visit

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