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Podiatry in Sports: The curious case of Kevin Durant’s sprained toe

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant sat out Monday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with a sprained right big toe.

When he exactly will return to the lineup, however, is still up for debate.

Durant injured the toe Saturday in the second quarter against the Charlotte Hornets after stepping on an opponent’s foot. He finished the game, playing 35 minutes with 29 points and 11 rebounds in the Thunder’s 109-90 victory.

The Thunder, according to ESPN, said Durant woke up feeling sore the day after the game and plans to see how he feels over the next few days. There is currently no timetable for Durant’s return.

“Obviously with Kevin out, that’s a huge [deal] for our offense,” Russell Westbrook said before Monday’s game. “But as a team, I thought we’ve done a good job of moving the basketball around, and tonight we’ve just got to continue to move the ball around. The ball will find open shots.”

This isn’t the first time a big toe has caused big problems for Oklahoma City’s superstar as a sprained left big toe, suffered against the Cleveland Cavaliers, led to Durant missing four games last season.

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, believes that, although it will take some time for the injury to completely heal, Durant thankfully won’t be out of the lineup too long.

“It’ll take six weeks for it to completely heal, but it’s really only the first week or so that he is in any real danger,” said Dr. Goldbaum, who has offices in Delray Beach and Boynton Beach. “He’ll be able to play in no time, but should take it easy for the first 7-14 days.”

In addition to his toe injury, some have speculated as to whether or not this new injury could potentially have some negative affect on Durant’s previously repaired Jones fracture –- also in the right foot — that caused him to undergo three surgeries in 2014-15.

A Jones fracture is an injury that occurs at the base of the fifth metatarsal bone (the one connected to the pinky toe), at the metaphyseal-diaphyseal junction, ¾ of an inch away from the base of the fifth metatarsal. These fractures do not heal easily due to the lack of adequate blood supply to the area. However, almost 75 percent of all Jones fractures eventually heal properly and do not recur.

In order to repair the damage, a screw is typically inserted into the foot to restore the bone and tendon to their natural position. A variety of devices can be used to fixate a Jones fracture including bone plates, wires, or pins, but in most cases a screw is a doctor’s weapon of choice.

In this case, much to the delight of Thunder fans, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum doesn’t believe that this new injury to Durant’s big right toe poses any threat his previously repaired fracture in the same foot.

“He’s probably in an orthoic at this time and also has a trainer that is wrapping his foot,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “These precautionary methods serve to provide extra stability and keep everything in biomechanical alignment. With that, the area of his repaired fracture shouldn’t be affected at all.”

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The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472



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