On July 21st, 2009, I wrote an article entitled ‘Will Surgery Salvage Yao Ming’s Basketball Career?’ and predicted Yao’s retirement before he announced it to the world.

My prediction was that Yao Ming’s career would prematurely end due to his inherited, abnormal foot structure. He has a Rothbarts Foot. This fairly common foot structure predisposes people to chronic muscle and joint pain, and I believe it was the cause of Yao’s foot injury and resulting foot pain that would not heal - in spite of all the aggressive therapies given him by a team of professionals.

The following is an extract from my article:

"The Houston Rockets are counting on an innovative and complicated surgical procedure to repair the hairline fracture in Yao Ming’s left foot.  They hope it will create a base of support for his 7-foot, 6-inch frame that will withstand the unprecedented pounding Ming’s body takes every time he mounts the basketball court.  However, privately the Houston officials have grave doubts that Ming will ever be sturdy enough to again play professional basketball. 

This is truly a tragedy, for as the global game goes, Ming is basketball’s most important player since Michael Jordan.  He is the reason that China has become enamored with the National Basketball Association.  He is the reason why American players were treated like rock stars in the Beijing Olympics.  He is regarded by many as the ‘Icon’ of professional basketball.

After watching a video and studying many photographs of Ming, I doubt he will ever recover from his reconstructive foot surgery unless they address the underlying cause that led to his debilitating foot injury, which I believe is a Primus Metatarsus Supinatus, known as Rothbarts Foot. 

Unfortunately, to date, the Houston Rocket’s management may be totally unaware of Ming’s embryological foot structure and the impact it has on his skeletal framework.  And Ming is just another of a long list of elite professional players whose careers have been cut short or severely compromised by the apparent foot structures they were born with:  Bill Walton, Micky Mantle and Tiger Woods just to name a few.

Let’s hope that Ming will prove to be the exception and that he will overcome the destructive forces generated from his feet.  But the smart money is betting against this.  And without addressing his apparent Rothbarts Foot, one of the greatest players in NBA’s history will abruptly and prematurely leave the sport in his prime.  And what a needless shame that will be!"

Since the writing of this article in 2009, Yao Ming has retired from the world of basketball due to his left foot injury that never healed.

Improving Biomechanics Allows Injuries to Quickly Heal And Improves Performance On The Court

Abnormal foot structures such as the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity cause torsional body mechanics. Tortional mechanics result in injuries that don’t heal.

Torsional mechanics can be attenuated or completely eliminated using Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy, which will straighten the posture and realign the body so that it moves linearly. Not only will your game greatly improve, but your body will last longer in your sport and you will be far less prone to repetitive injuries.

In basketball – consistency in your performance is what counts. Biomechanics is what defines the difference in performance – the difference between being very good and being the best.

An Extraordinary Player Forced Into Retirement And What Could Have Been Done To Save His Career


Basketball players need strength, speed and endurance. These essential abilities revolve around bio mechanics (the study of movement in living beings).

If the body moves in a straight line (due to linear mechanics) it’s able to reach its’ ultimate power, endurance and performance. But if the body moves in a twisting fashion (due to torsional mechanics) it will be prevented from reaching its’ optimum performance, regardless of how much the player trains. In greater detail:

If your biomechanics are linear, your muscles and joints revolve around their anatomical neutral position (where they function most optimally). This means that, as you run up and down the court, there’s less stress and strain on your muscles and joints. The less strain and strain, the less prone you are to repetitive overuse injuries. And – if you have linear mechanics - if your body does become injured, it will heal within a reasonable period of time.

If your biomechanics are tortional, your muscles and joints do not revolve around their anatomical neutral position. So as you go up and down the court, pivot and take your shots, there’s an inordinate amount of stress and strain on your muscles and joints. With more stress and strain, the more prone you are to repetitive overuse injuries. And – if you have tortional mechanics - if your body becomes injured (it probably does so frequently) often it will never completely heal.

The repetitive overuse injuries that basketball players often face are: chronic foot, ankle, knee and hip problems. All of these can take you out of the game.