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Podiatry in Sports: Patriots’ Edelman undergoes surgery to reinsert screw in foot

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman recently underwent minor surgery on his left foot to reinsert a screw from a past procedure, a source informed of the situation told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

Edelman originally broke the foot in November and missed the final seven games of the regular season after undergoing surgery.

Podiatry in Sports: Julian Edelman

Podiatry in Sports: Julian Edelman

The injury, commonly known as a Jones fracture, occurred 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.

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a board certified podiatrist with over 30 years of experience, has treated numerous Jones fractures at his offices in Delray Beach and Boynton Beach and can offer insight into what exactly Edelman is going through based on the information currently available.

“After surgery, patients are typically in a cast for three weeks,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “After that, we start physical therapy in order to bring it back around. A 4-6 week recovery is really the norm for an average patient, but given the physical demands of his profession, it leads me to believe he could be out as long as seven-to-eight weeks depending on the severity of the fracture.”

It was previously reported Edelman wouldn’t need a second surgery, but clearly something came up during his recovery process that led doctors to believe that they needed to send the 29-year-old wideout back under the knife.

“When a doctor has to go in and reinsert a screw, it usually means they didn’t get a good enough bite the first time they did it,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “The bone, for whatever reason, didn’t work well enough with the initial screw. Either some soft tissue was in between that wasn’t cleaned out enough or the bone might have backed off due to some abnormal movement.”

The size of the screw, Dr. Goldbaum notes, could have also been a factor.

“In some cases, doctors will also need to replace a screw simply if they need a longer version or a bigger size head to grab more because they are not getting the compression that they need.”

On Wednesday, Edelman was spotted wearing a protective boot at the Patriots‘ facility, but he’s on track to return for training camp, Rapoport added.

As for the road ahead, Dr. Goldbaum strongly believes that a second surgery, even if for simply precautionary reasons, was a smart decision by the Patriots.

“If he doesn’t get the total closure in there, you can easily re-fracture that area if you don’t have enough compression on it,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “It’ll be another 4-6 weeks before he’s active again after this second surgery, but the injury shouldn’t limit him during the regular season.”

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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