The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Baseball’s Back! But What’s Next for Derek Jeter After Ankle Injury?

Posted by on Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

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Well, sports fans… it’s the time you’ve all been waiting for: opening day of the new baseball season arrived yesterday! Yankees fans have been waiting with baited breath to see how Derek Jeter will play this year after suffering a few major setbacks last season. The NY Post reports that his spring batting average is .114 — which is a far cry from the .351 he batted in the World Series.

As New York podiatric sports medicine doctors, we’re particularly concerned about the recovery of “Captain Clutch,” as we’d like to see him go on to play many more stellar games. But far too often, superstars are overzealous in their rush back to the field, which can prematurely end a career.

jeter ankle
Derek Jeter’s ankle injury caused him a lot of grief last season.
Image Source: Wikimedia.org

What Happened to Derek Jeter’s Ankle?

Perhaps it all began with a bone bruise in his left foot in September 2012. He received a cortisone shot to treat the pain and was able to play right through it. Unfortunately, he wound up with a fractured left ankle reaching for a ground ball during the first game of the American League Champion Series against the Detroit Tigers. That was it for Derek Jeter! He had surgery on his ankle in October, with recovery slated for the next five months.

According to the NY Daily NewsDerek Jeter “underwent an operation to stabilize his ankle using screws and possibly a plate.” Some surgeons say leaving the metal in the body allows athletes to continue to play their sport without incident.

However, an honest sports medicine professional will admit that there are many complications when the metal is left in and a high-performance athlete continues to play on it. There can be pain, stress fractures where the bone and metal meet, occult fractures of the tibia, ligament strains, and calf strains.

Removing the hardware once the ankle has been stabilized would have been the ideal solution for Mr. Jeter, but it would have involved much more healing time. There is a procedure we offer at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine called “platelet-rich plasma injections,” which has helped many athletes recover from injury much more quickly than usual.

ankle injury recovery
Platelet Rich Plasma injections can help ankle injuries heal faster.
Image Source: OpusMedicalCenter.com

Ankle Injuries Can Be Notoriously Hard to Heal

During rehabilitation, Jeter suffered a small crack in his left ankle, so he began the 2013 season on the disability list. He played on July 11th, but quickly made it back to the bench with a quadricep strain. We see these kinds of complementary injuries often, as other tendons, muscles, and bones try to overcompensate for injured, weakened bones. He came back to play on July 28th, but was back on 15-day disability August 5th with a calf strain. Jeter would land the 15-day disability list a third time on September 11th, with his ankle plaguing him yet again! By September 14th, he was on the 60-day disability list.

baseball ankle guard
Will an ankle guard protect Derek Jeter this season? Only time will tell! We find that time is the best healer of all.
Image Source: Ebay.com

Where Is Derek Jeter Now?

It looks like Jeter is currently on the healthy list, so we’re anxious to see how he’ll play against the Houston Astros tonight. He has been very positive about his recovery. “Sometimes you have to use more of the spring than others to get ready, but I feel good where I am right now,” he told reporters.

Ankle Injury Treatment in New York

If you have a bum ankle, contact us to have it examined and treated by a top-notch team of professionals. Our sports medicine centers in Manhattan and White Plains are outfitted to treat you in every possible way — whether you need an x-ray, cast, walking boot, metal implants, platelet-rich plasma injections, or just a little bit of ice and a custom training program.

 

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.