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Podiatry in Sports: Texans’ Jadeveon Clowney avoids surgery for mid-foot sprain

The mid-foot sprain that kept Houston Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney out of the team’s final two games will not require offseason surgery, head coach Bill O’Brien said last week.

“JD is feeling better about his foot,” O’Brien told the Houston Chronicle.

Clowney, 22, finished the season with a career-high 4 1/2 sacks and 40 tackles with one forced fumble, but was limited to just 13 games and nine starts due to injuries.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Clowney has already endured microfracture knee surgery, a meniscus arthroscopic procedure, sports hernia surgery and a concussion since entering the league.

And although it’s concerning to see Houston’s talented defender dealing with yet another injury, the situation could have actually been a lot worse had he sustained a Lisfranc injury rather than a simple sprain. You see, when the Lisfranc’s ligament is torn or sprained, the bones in the middle of your foot can fracture and dislocate, which requires surgery to repair and adds several months to recovery.

As of now, Clowney is optimistic about the future.

“I’m going to come back and dominate the league,” Clowney said shortly after his injury. “I know what I can do. I think I’m going to come back and dominate the league next year.”

A mid-foot sprain is a common type of foot sprain that affects ligaments in the middle of your foot. These ligaments attach your five, long metatarsal bones to four smaller bones at five tarsometatarsal joints. The combination of all five tarsometatarsal joints is called the mid-foot joint.

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, has seen many mid-foot sprains walk, or should I say hobble, through the doors of his office in Delray Beach and believes that Clowney shouldn’t be limited by this injury heading into next season based on the current information available.

“He’s probably dealing with some myositis, neuritis and inflammation of the nerve in muscle,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “It just needs to rest over a short period of time before he can get back to playing. They’ll keep him off of it with some light walking, elevation and compression.”

That being said, Dr. Goldbaum notes that it was probably for the best that Clowney be shut down this past season as attempting to play through a mid-foot sprain can often lead to a myriad of other problems.

“You can either crack a bone or rip the soft tissue more,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “The injury becomes more unstable and weak. You don’t want to play through a mid-foot sprain. It’s kind of like having a weak link in a chain. When you pull on that weak link, the whole thing can break apart. He’s smart for wanting to strengthen that weak link rather than pulling on it.”

Follow Delray Beach Podiatry on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry

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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