Bunion Surgery and the Professional Athlete

It’s been exactly 30 years since Phil Simms of the New York Giants was asked what he was going to do next after winning the super bowl, to which he proudly declared “I’m going to Disney World!”. Super Bowl LI ended with the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. As a result, Tom Brady and company booked their flights to Orlando to the “Most Magical Place On Earth”. Which makes us all wonder, what do the losers of the Super Bowl do next. Well, if you are wide receiver Julio Jones, member of the Super Bowl losing team Atlanta Falcons, you apparently have bunion surgery.

Julio Jones underwent “successful” elective bunionectomy surgery last week according to his own Instagram page.

Julio Jones is one of the best wide receivers of his generation and has made a name for himself for having not only incredible hands, but also because of his amazing foot work and blinding speed. For many professional athletes, elective surgeries of any kind are typically reserved for retirement years, well after top performance peak has been reached.  Jones is only 6 years into a likely hall of fame career and is coming off the best offensive season in Atlanta Falcons history with Jones as the main receiver threat.

Team sources have stated that Julio Jones will be ready for pre-season in 5 months. This is because bone heals in 4-6 weeks, allowing most patients to return to normal shoes in 4 weeks, and resume more aggressive exercising at the 6-week point. Due to advanced hardware and improved surgical techniques, bunion correction is an effective way to alleviate pain associated with bunions and allow you to return to your normal activities within a relatively short period of time.  Even if you’re an NFL receiver.

Bunion surgery usually requires bone cuts, most commonly to the 1st metatarsal bone. This allows for repositioning of the bunion deformity. Once the bone is shifted back into the appropriate, straight position, it is secured with 1 to 2 titanium screws. This procedure is performed under sedation, most frequently as an outpatient in a surgical center. Patients can fully bear weight, even when leaving the surgery center, in a walking boot. Rarely do the screws need to be removed and are simply left in the bone permanently. Patients typically return to normal shoes and progress to normal activities 4-6 weeks post-operatively.

Most of us do not depend on our athletic prowess for our livelihood, as Julio Jones does. He sets a great example of the predictability and reliability of bunionectomy procedures. Many patients are hesitant to undergo surgical correction due to fear of time off from athletics, work, and simple daily activities. With the ability to ambulate fully after surgery without crutches and return to activities in only a matter of weeks, there is no reason to continue to live with daily pain related to your bunion deformity. It doesn’t matter if you have played in the Super Bowl or not, everyone is a winner when you let the physicians at Kansas City Foot and Ankle tackle your pain.

Call our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our foot and ankle specialists.  816-943-1111.