The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Pedal to the Metal: NASCAR’s Kyle Busch Undergoes Foot Surgery to Treat Inflammation

Posted by on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014


For those of you who don’t follow stock car racing, 29-year-old Kyle Busch drives the No. 18 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  His crowning achievements are a slew of big wins in 2008-2009, including first place in the Snowball Derby, Southern 500, Winchester 400, Budweiser Duel, and Nationwide Championship. He’s won at major racetracks across the country, from Talladega to Daytona. More recently, he finished fourth place in last year’s Sprint Cup Series. This month, we learn that he’s undergone surgery to treat the inflammation in his left foot. While surgery is certainly an option, it’s one we don’t often prescribe at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York City.

What Happened To Kyle Busch?

Busch underwent successful surgery on Thursday, December 11th to “relieve a recurring source of inflammation.” He hopes to make a full recovery and be back to race at the start of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season in February, according to a team release from Joe Gibbs Racing. In a recent tweet, Busch himself pledged to be back in time for Daytona in January. According to his wife, he’s “doing great” — eating pancakes, wearing a boot, and playing video games during his recovery. There’s no word on when the inflammation first started bothering him or speculation as to what may have caused it.

Causes of Recurring Foot Inflammation

There are several types of recurring foot inflammation we commonly treat at our NYC podiatrist office:

– Bursitis: Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa, a small sac between bone and muscle, skin, or tendons. When it affects the feet, pain is usually localized at the base of the big toe joint, the ball of the foot, or the heel. We think of this as an overuse injury.

– Gout: In some people, diets rich in shellfish and organ meat can trigger a sudden, painful inflammation called gout, which generally subsides within three days, but often recurs. This condition is addressed through diet modification and medication, rather than surgery, though, so we can count that out for Kyle Busch.

– Arthritis: We usually think of arthritis as a chronic condition affecting old people, but there are types that affect young people as well. Reiter’s Syndrome is one type of inflammation caused by exposure to a viral pathogen that frequently strikes young men. Two-thirds of the patients with reactive arthritis attacks have an HLA-B27 genotype that predisposes them to the autoimmune disorder.

– Plantar Fasciitis: The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue connecting the heel to the toes. Prolonged standing, running, excess weight, and worn shoes place undue stress on the ligament, causing tearing and tissue degeneration.

– Achilles Tendinitis: The achilles tendon fixes the calf muscle to the heel and is responsible for lifting the heel off the ground. Sports injuries or poor footwear are usually the cause behind this inflammatory condition.

– Morton’s Neuroma: The digital nerve between the third and fourth toes becomes inflamed, causing pain in the ball of the foot. We commonly see this in female high heel wearers and athletes who do a lot of push-off sprinting.

NY Doctors Treat Chronic Foot Inflammation With More Than Just Foot Surgery

Before jumping to surgery, we investigate alternative treatment options for foot inflammation. Rest, ice, elevation, and over-the-counter NSAID  drugs are first line treatments that may bring down swelling. If that doesn’t work, we can move to something like Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, platelet rich plasma, or custom orthotics. At last resort, our podiatric surgeons can clear out and repair damaged tissue to heal the foot quicker. Book a consultation with our Manhattan or Westchester podiatrists to determine a course of action for your foot inflammation.


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.