The NBA regular season begins this month, but unfortunately, we will not be watching the number 1 overall draft pick in action. Ben Simmons underwent successful foot surgery yesterday for a Jones Fracture in his right foot. After winning only 10 games last season, the Philadelphia 76ers felt confident that Simmons would provide the spark that would lift the team from the dark depths felt at the bottom of the NBA. Do to the severity and placement of the foot injury, it will most likely keep him sidelined for the entire season and force the 76ers to find an alternative to the most promising draft pick in the past decade.
So what is a Jones Fracture and why is it going to cause Simmons to miss the entire season? The injury is a fracture at the base of the fifth metatarsal, the bone connected with the pinky toe. While many bone problems can heal relatively quickly, a Jones Fracture occurs in a highly avascular region in the foot. Without a proper blood supply, the injury cannot heal efficiently or effectively. As a result, doctors are required to be extremely cautious throughout the healing process.
A majority of patients suffering from a Jones Fracture will only need a cast, splint, or walking boot for six to eight weeks, while refraining from walking as much as possible. Cases that are more severe, such as Simmons’ injury, need surgery. Doctors inserted a plate and a screw to reconnect the fifth metatarsal in its proper orientation. The first few weeks, Simmons will need to completely rest the foot, and he will not be able to return to full activity for a minimum of three months. However, being a professional athlete puts Simmons at risk to re-injure his foot with the fierce jumping and running involved in the game of basketball. In order to protect the long-term interests of the 76ers’ team, Simmons may be sitting the bench for much longer than three months.