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What is costovertebral dysfunction, the back condition of Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout?

Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout has been diagnosed with a rare back condition that could affect his baseball career in the long term.

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 24: Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout (27)  looks at the on field action during the MLB game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Atlanta Braves on July 24, 2022 at Truist Park in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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Los Angeles Angels star center fielder Mike Trout has been suffering from injuries, but now he may have a condition that he will have to deal with for a long period of time.

Angels head trainer Mike Frostad said the three-time AL Most Valuable Player has been diagnosed with costovertebral dysfunction at his T5 vertebrae.

According to Frostad, Trout’s doctor said that the condition that plagues the player’s back is a rare one which he hasn’t often seen.

What is costovertebral dysfunction?

Costovertebral joints are located between the vertebrae in the upper/mid-back area and the ribs. The ligaments, cartilage, and nerves surrounding these joints support and facilitate twisting movements. Costovertebral dysfunction refers to injuries affecting these joints. The condition means that one of the ribs has shifted to a bad position or has gotten stuck from its attachment to the spine, ending up misaligned from the other ribs.

Trout had been out since July 12 due to back spasms, but the team hoped that the injury was not a major cause for concern. The Angels initially placed Trout on the injured list on July 16 with what they believed was an inflammation of the ribcage.

Trout receives cortisone

The 30-year-old withdrew from last week’s MLB All-Star Game and had a cortisone shot to alleviate the swelling. The 10-time All-Star is reportedly still not engaging in baseball activities, and there is still no clear timeline on his return to the field.

He will be given some time to feel the effects of the cortisone, after which his physical state will be reevaluated.

Trout however is downplaying the severity of the injury as well as concerns on the injury’s effect on his playing career. He stresses that his goal is to play again this year, and that there will be more clarity after he consults his doctor again.


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