South African National Swimming Record-Holder Eugene Botes Treated by Houston Doctor; Able to Resume Training for April Olympic Trials

Source: Dr. Rahul Nath


(Houston - March 1, 2004) - Eugene Botes, the South African swimmer who holds the national record for the butterfly stroke, has had winging scapula surgery performed by Dr. Rahul Nath and will be able to continue training for the Olympic trials in April.

A winging scapula injury occurs when the nerve that holds down the shoulder blade becomes damaged, leaving that area to "hang" like a wing. Risk factors for winging scapula injury include a history of vigorous athletic maneuvers with the affected extremity, lifting of heavy weights and direct external pressure on the area as in deep massage.

Botes suffered a winging scapula injury while weightlifting in December 2003. After six weeks of therapy and being unable to swim, he continued to experience winging and shoulder instability. It was then that Botes first learned of Dr. Nath by researching winging scapula treatment on the Internet.

"I called Dr. Nath's office on a Friday, and a week later, I was in surgery for my injury. Two days later, I was able to lift my arm up fully over my shoulder for the first time since last December, and ten days later I resumed training for the Olympic trials, which are in April," Botes said.

"The winging of the scapula was ninety percent improved, and this should resolve completely within a few weeks since surgery was performed early. We will be checking Eugene's progress regularly as he trains for the Olympics," Dr. Nath said.

Botes, who lives in Thorton, Pa., became Penn State University's first-ever national champion in August 2003 by winning the 100-meter butterfly at the U.S. Swimming Senior Nationals. He won the preliminaries with a time of 53.54 seconds and then won the finals with a time of 53.20. The winning time was an Olympic qualifying cut time, and it also is the national record for Botes' home country of South Africa.

Dr. Nath was peer- nominated as one of "America's Top Doctors" for 3 straight years (Castle Connelly Publishers, 1st, 2nd and 3rd ed.) and has developed the current decompression surgery for winging scapula. He is also a surgical specialist in peripheral nerve and Brachial Plexus surgery. He is Board-certified by the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

More information on winging scapula injuries, including before and after photos, is available on Dr. Nath's Web site at . To follow Botes on his path to the Olympics in Athens in Summer 2004, interested persons may register for the winging scapula newsletter at:

For photos relating to this release, please contact Nath at 713 592 9900 or

For Additional Information, Please Contact:

Rahul Nath, MD