The Müller-Weiss syndrome, an ordeal for Rafa Nadal


Müller-Weiss syndrome, also known as scaphoid osteochondritis, is becoming popular because a sports legend such as Rafa Nadal, probably the best tennis player of all time. It is a rare injury, which is degenerative and has no cure. It is, without a doubt, the weak point of this great Balearic athlete for more than fifteen years. Already in 2005 he had to decide if he continued to compete at the cost of enduring the pain.

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The vanguard

Osteochondritis is an injury that occurs in the scaphoid, a bone that protrudes from the ankle, and can arise from a lack of blood supply to the bone below the cartilage of a joint, or from trauma or repetition of microtrauma.

Rafa Nadal has won all 17 games he has played in 2022Charles Baus/CSM via ZUMA Press / DPA 03/14/2022 FOR USE IN SPAIN ONLY

Rafa Nada has shone this season when the pain has allowed him


The most common is that it will occur in initial periods of growth, in children between 5 and 10 years old. In these cases, when manifesting for a while, the movement of the joint can be totally saved, although episodes of pain can occur later. This injury causes discomfort and pain and limits the mobility of the foot and ankle..

A complex diagnosis

Müller-Weiss syndrome is a rare evolution of osteochondritis and occurs in adults. It affects the outside and inside of the ankle, is chronic and causes a lot of pain. In addition, it causes a deformity of the bone and can lead to osteoarthritis. Diagnosis is not easy until the disease is in a very advanced stage.

The solution to reduce or eliminate pain is to block the affected joint, a completely impossible measure for an athlete who wants to continue being active. In this case, there is no choice but to endure the pain and strengthen the muscles in the area.


Rafa Nadal, during the match against Carlos Alcaraz at the Mutua Madrid Open

Jose Oliva / EP

The scaphoid is a bone found in the hand and foot. In the case of the foot, it is called the tarsal or navicular scaphoid and is of great importance because it is essential to articulate a complex movement, since it is joined to three different bones: the talus on its anterior part, the cuboid on its internal part and the cuneiform on its back. The navicular is a bony structure to which several ligamentous and tendinous structures are attached, which allow the navicular bone to function properly and participate in dorsiflexion and plantar flexion of the foot. It is a very important bone to achieve stability and balance when walking or running.

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PortalCLÍNIC is a project of the Hospital Clínic and the BBVA Foundation. The information in the article has been prepared in collaboration with PortalClínic, of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and documented by health professionals.

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