Houston Doctor Helps Swimming Record-Holder
Qualify for 2004 Summer Olympic Games
(Houston - April 29, 2004) - After not being able to raise his right arm above his head in December 2003, Eugene Botes, the South African swimmer who holds the national record for the butterfly stroke, finished third place in the 100-meter butterfly finals during the South African Swimming Team Olympic Trials on April 19, 2004, qualifying for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens.
Botes had winging scapula surgery in January 2004, performed by Dr. Rahul Nath , a reconstructive microsurgeon at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas.
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' winging scapula injury occurred while weightlifting in December 2003. He first learned of Dr. Nath by researching winging scapula treatment on the Internet.
Rosemary Botes , Eugene Botes' mother, said, "I was excited to call Dr. Nath and tell him that Eugene placed third in the Trials. Considering he had been out of the pool for six weeks, this was an amazing accomplishment for him. His winging is almost completely gone, and we would like to thank Dr. Nath for helping him return to what he loves. We hope he will be fully ready for the Athens Olympics this summer."
"I am pleased with Eugene's progress and the fact that he was able to continue training for the Olympics. I expect him to completely recover and resume his normal training schedule. My Team will cheer him on to victory as the summer Olympics approach," 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 also is 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 www.drnathwingingscapula.com . 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