The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

NBA News: Kevin Durant Has Second Jones Fracture Foot Surgery

Posted by on Friday, March 13th, 2015

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Unfortunately, this is not the first time Kevin Durant has appeared on our blog. We first discussed the Jones fracture in his foot back in October 2014, and, just last month, mentioned the toe sprain that set him back five games. Today’s appearance is to report that he has undergone a second surgery to replace the screw in his foot after the initial fixation caused soreness and irritation.

kevin durant foot
Kevin Durant underwent surgery to replace a failed screw from his first Jones fracture repair. Image Source: Wikipedia.org

What Happened To Kevin Durant?

Twenty-six-year-old Kevin Durant has been out for at least nine games, recovering from his latest foot surgery. He said the new screw “feels so much better” and he anticipates a return to play “soon,” although he has also said he doesn’t want to rush anything.

General Manager Sam Presti went into greater detail about what happened with Durant’s foot, explaining: “We consulted with his original surgeon, and also a second opinion with Dr. Martin O’Malley about the best way to alleviate this discomfort. It was determined that because the fracture itself had continued to heal as anticipated there was an opportunity to address the irritation that was coming from the screw itself and make a transition to a different piece of hardware within the foot to relieve the symptoms of the soreness.”

The initial screw was a common type used “almost universally” in Jones fractures, but the head of the screw was pressing against Durant’s cuboid bone, which connects the foot and ankle; the new screw does not have a head at the top. The pain Durant has felt is related to the screw rubbing on a tender part of the foot, rather than a worsening of the fracture, so that is encouraging news. Presti added that doctors feel good about progress with the fracture itself, and said Durant will be re-evaluated on a week-by-week basis.

The OKC Thunder has a 15-18 record without Durant on the court, so they are probably eager to see him back–although Bleacher Report says the injury has been a “blessing in disguise” for Russell Westbrook, who has seen 12 wins and 7 losses in the games he’s played without Durant.

Why Do Jones Fracture Screw Failures Occur?

The goal of Jones fracture surgery is to get elite athletes like Kevin Durant back to the game quicker, and prevent another fracture down the road. While screw fixation has been largely successful, it is not terribly uncommon to see top players return for revision surgeries.

In 2002, researchers looked at 15 young professional and recreational athletes who had internal screws placed for fifth metatarsal fractures. Forty percent of the cases required revision surgery after re-fracture or nonunion. Of those, researchers found that 83 percent of these failures involved elite athletes–players who alleged their symptoms cleared up three weeks sooner than other patients, and who largely went back to the game before being cleared by a medical professional.

Though the study sample was small, we have seen in our NYC sports medicine practice that a premature return to play is linked to treatment failure. That is why we don’t just treat you once and send you on your way–rather, we work with you along your recovery timeline to ready you for a return to your sport. We reference x-rays to indicate complete healing, rather than relying on arbitrary patient-reported pain scores.

While engaging in activities before fully healing is a major factor, other possible reasons for surgery complications include:

– Incorrect size or length of screw

– Thickening or hardening of the bone in response to screw treatment

– Disturbance of blood circulation from incision

– Bent or broken hardware

Jones Fracture Repair in NYC

The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine employs several top specialists for Jones fracture repair in New York City. We use advanced techniques such as bone stimulation, bone grafting, blood cell aspiration, focused aspiration of scar tissue, platelet rich plasma injections, and laser pain reduction to ensure the most successful recovery. We combine these ultramodern techniques with classic immobilization, physical therapy, rest, ice, compression, elevation, medication, and supplementation to facilitate quicker healing, as well as pain relief. Book your appointment with one of our specialists online.

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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.