Injury Update: Ben Simmons Fractured Foot

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

It was supposed to be a precautionary x-ray. Instead, it has taken the fans of the Philadelphia 76ers to the dark place of a foot injury once more. This time to top pick Ben Simmons.

Precautionary x-ray is a term used to describe a check to ensure “nothing unforeseen is wrong”. While it’s great to discover a hidden injury, the fact that top pick Ben Simmons has fractured his foot is going to be a tough one for the fans of the Philadelphia 76ers to absorb this close to pre-season.

The news has just been released on the NBA official website of the Philadelphia 76ers:

"After receiving an X-ray and MRI of the foot and ankle, the images were reviewed by Sixers Head Physician Dr. Christopher Dodson and Sixers Chief Medical Officer and Co-Chief of Sports Medicine Orthopedics at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center Dr. Jonathan Glashow.It was determined that Simmons suffered a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot."

The metatarsal is the long bone in the foot. The fifth metatarsal is the last bone at the outside of the foot, and most breaks of the fifth metatarsal occur at the base.

While there is no indication of the severity of this type of injury, it can either be treated via boot or surgery.  There are three zones to the metatarsal bone:

Zone 1 fractures are avulsion or “chip” fractures that occur at the tip of the base of the fifth metatarsal. These fractures are typically treated without surgery using a cast, boot or hard-soled shoe.  These fractures tend to heal within six to eight weeks.

Zone 2 fractures are typically known as Jones fractures. They occur at the intersection between the base and the shaft of the fifth metatarsal (figure 1). These fractures are known to have a higher chance of not healing (nonunion). They are also at risk of refracture even after healing. Surgical treatment is commonly performed for these fractures. (inserting a screw)

Zone 3 fractures happen along the shaft of the fifth metatarsal. These are typically stress fractures in athletes. Lengthy healing times and risk of refracture may be reasons for surgical repair in these fractures.

While we do not know the type of injury, this likely will mean a 6-10 weeks recovery for the rookie. That amount of time can flex up or down depending on the type of treatment required and the overall extent of the injury.

As we learn more, I will bring you that information as quickly as possible.  This is NOT the same type of foot fracture which required Joel Embiid to heal for two years.  Blood flow to this bone is good, and will aid the healing process exponentially.

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While we did not dodge a bullet, this is a relatively mild injury and should be repaired with little to no risk of complications down the road.  It will mean that we wait to see our top pick perform.

But we have a solid roster who can pick up the slack in the meantime.