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By Varun Gujral
June 10, 2015
Category: Sports Injury

Catchers, no matter what level, are seemingly in the most uncomfortable position relative to any other in the sport. If you think about it, they are always squatting which puts a lot of pressure on the knees, ankles and the rest of the foot, and if a catcher plays for ‘x’ number of years all of those joints and/or bones will eventually breakdown. Unfortunately for New York Yankees catcher Brian McCann, he has apparently suffered the longstanding of being a catcher. McCann has been a catcher in the MLB for 10 years (the first eight of those years he served with the Atlanta Braves). So you can imagine, 10 years-worth of squatting can surely take a toll on someone. Another question someone might ask is, “Why doesn’t it happen to all catchers then?” The answer to that is, every catcher has a unique style of catching from where they put their feet to how they squat.

The traditional catching stance—knees out over toes, weight on the balls of the feet, and the backside practically resting on the heels—is probably the most damaging to the joints and bones of the lower leg. The reason this is such a damaging posture—from a podiatrist’s standpoint—is because there is a large amount of strain being put on the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is the longest and strongest tendon in the human body but if put under stress and strain for years on end it will eventually lose its integrity which in turn can cause the rest of the foot to breakdown. Although it seems like it just attaches to the back of the heel bone, it actually continues onto the underside of the foot and becomes part of the plantar fascia. This is important to keep in mind because the plantar fascia is the foundation of the arch of the foot; once the plantar fascia fails, the rest of the foot will too. That’s not to say this is what happened to McCann, but I would venture a guess that it’s definitely related.

McCann will be getting an MRI to assess if there is any damage to the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) and joints of his right foot. From everyone here at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Monroe and Edison, NJ we wish him a quick recovery so he is able to get back behind the plate.

By Varun Gujral

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