Simmons Has Surgery to Repair Fractured Right Foot
76ers rookie Ben Simmons had surgery today to repair an acute Jones fracture in his right foot. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Ben Simmons had surgery earlier today to repair an acute Jones fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, the team announced.
Simmons suffered the injury when landing on the foot of another teammate during the final day of training camp last week at Stockton University.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley at the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York. O’Malley performed surgeries to repair similar foot injuries for Kevin Durant, Brook Lopez, and other NBA stars. He was also the surgeon who performed the bone graft operation on Joel Embiid’s navicular bone last summer.
The Sixers did not give a timetable for Simmons’ return.
The Sixers did reveal that it was a Zone 2, or Jones, fracture Simmons experienced. A Jones fracture is frequently seen as more difficult to come back from than a Zone 1 (Avulsion) fracture because of poor blood flow in that area of the foot.
I discussed the differences between Jones and Avulsion fractures, as well as the differences between acute and stress fractures, with orthopaedic surgeon Daniel Cuttica of the Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Center on my latest podcast.
“An acute fracture occurs as a result of a single event that caused the fracture, so it’s more of traumatic incident,” Dr. Cuttica told me. “A stress fracture tends to be from overuse.”
In this case, the fact that it is an acute fracture should make recovery more predictable.
“The fifth metatarsal stress fractures tend to be a little bit more difficult to heal, and can actually tend to recur as well,” Dr. Cuttica said. “Certainly the (acute) fracture is going to be a little bit more predictable in terms of treatment.”
Both Kevin Durant and Brook Lopez suffered stress fractures, whereas Simmons fracture was acute.
While each recovery is different, the average timetable is approximately 10 to 12 weeks, according to Dr. Cuttica.
“Most of them (Jones fractures) do tend to heal predictably if they’re fixed surgically,” Dr. Cuttica said. “Your return to play at something that’s as high intensity as basketball tends to be on average 10 to 12 weeks.”
You can listen to the full interview here.
The full press release is provided below.
The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that forward Ben Simmons underwent successful surgery to repair an acute Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. Simmons suffered the injury when he rolled his ankle after landing on the foot of another player during a 76ers team scrimmage on September 30, 2016.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley, Associate Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon and Fellowship Director of the Foot and Ankle Service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Dr. Jonathan Glashow, Sixers Chief Medical Officer and Co-Chief of Sports Medicine Orthopedics at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center, assisted with the procedure.
Simmons’ rehabilitation will fall under the supervision of Sixers Director of Performance Research and Development Dr. David T. Martin.
“Our sports performance and medical staff was debriefed by Dr. O’Malley following the procedure, and we were encouraged by the positive feedback,” Martin said. “Moving forward, a comprehensive return to court program will be implemented for Ben, and we will closely monitor his progress throughout the rehabilitation process.”
Additional information regarding Simmons’ recovery and return to play timetable will be provided as available and when appropriate.