Baseball fans are likely familiar with New York Mets star David Wright. Dubbed “Captain America” following his heroics for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic and seven-time Major League Baseball All-Star, Wright has long been considered the face of the Mets franchise for nearly a decade. But, the days of glory may be over for Wright since being diagnosed with spinal stenosis last year, a narrowing of space in the spine which may lead to pain, muscle weakness, numbness and even issues with bladder and bowel functions.
Although some people show no symptoms of signs of spinal stenosis, it can be a debilitating disease for others, as the tightening of the spine may put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that affect the arms and legs. The causes of the disease are varied, ranging from hereditary to issues caused by bone overgrowth, herniated disks, tumors that form from inside the spinal cord or between the spinal cord and vertebrae and spinal injuries that fracture or dislocate vertebrae.
David Wright had been playing with the disease following a long rehab that sidelined him for much of the 2015 season, but a recent herniated disk injury, unrelated to the spinal stenosis, leaves him with a return in 2016 unlikely following surgery and some doubt as to whether he will ever return to the field to play for the Mets.
Spinal stenosis affects every victim differently, but it is still listed among the disabling diseases listed for Social Security disability benefits. Just because the disease is listed, however, does not mean that all applicants will be accepted. It must still be proven that the disease causes such disabling conditions that make it impossible to obtain and maintain gainful work activity and that the disease is expected to last at least a year.
Source: Mayo Clinic, “Diseases and Conditions – Spinal Stenosis,” Accessed on June 21, 2016