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What is this Müller-Weiss syndrome from which Rafael Nadal suffers?

Yasmina Kattou, edited by Romain Rouillard
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06:36, June 06, 2022

The Spaniard won his 14th title at Roland Garros this Sunday. But it could be the last cut of the Musketeers, triggered by the Mallorcan. Suffering from Müller-Weiss syndrome, he is regularly confronted with violent pain in his left foot. But what is it precisely? Answer.

It was not obvious on Sunday, during his success against Casper Ruud in the Roland-Garros final, but Rafael Nadal has suffered from an irreversible illness since he was 18 years old. The tennis star suffers the syndrome of Müller-Weiss affects. A rare pathology that affects the bone that is located inside the foot, under the ankle. This is what is called in medical jargon “osteonecrosis of the navicular bone”.

In the most serious cases, the bone can fragment, disintegrate. At this time, the pain becomes unbearable and the foot becomes deformed. Müller-Weiss syndrome has five stages: the first is without symptoms, the last is severe osteoarthritis. It is an incurable disease whose causes remain unknown. To alleviate the suffering of the native of Mallorca, powerful anti-inflammatories are necessary.

Towards early retirement?

The Spaniard also confided that without these drugs he could not walk properly. For patients whose pain is no longer relieved, surgery is necessary. The practice of a sport at a high level after the operation becomes almost impossible.

Moreover, the “bull of Manacor” still has doubts about his future. At the end of his match against Casper Ruud, he declared that he “couldn’t continue to play” under these conditions. In other words, if no solution is found, Rafael Nadal would probably retire.


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