They first diagnosed it as a bruise. But it was no bruise; that was a misdiagnosis. Fortunately for him, his doctors finally diagnosed it correctly, as it was a blood clot in his arm, but it was caused by another dangerous condition.
According to a story in on STLhighschoolsports.com, he had broken a rib at some time earlier, but never knew it. When the rib healed, it was crooked and grew into a vein. The medical condition is identified as thoracic outlet syndrome.
This is a potentially dangerous condition, because if untreated, it can result in permanent nerve damage. The surgery, according to the Mayo Clinic, “involves dividing a muscle in the neck and removing a portion of the first rib or repairing the brachial plexus nerves.”
Because of the risk, surgery is dangerous, and doctors often attempt a more conservative approach of physical therapy, but in cases like that of the basketball play, surgery was necessary. The complexity of the surgery was such that it took nine-hours.
He was fortunate that doctors eventually recognized the condition and that they were able to successfully treat it. He appears to be recovering well and has signed a letter of intent to play at Illinois.
A condition like thoracic outlet syndrome is dangerous because it can easily be misdiagnosed and can lead to long-lasting damage if it is not recognized and left untreated.
Source: STLhighschoolsports.com, “After severe injury, Belleville East standout Hill on road to recovery,” Nate Latsch, November 29, 2012