The worst case scenario for Kevin Durant and the Thunder has finally emerged. The lingering soreness in his problematic right foot has been diagnosed as a regression in the healing process and a third surgery will required. The reigning MVP will not play again this year and is expected to miss at least four-to-six months recovering.
When the injury was first reported, InStreetClothes.com detailed the problems associated with the Jones fracture and presented a list of those to suffer setbacks following their initial surgery. Durant will now be included on the list as he heads under the knife for the third time.
In his first surgery, a surgical screw was inserted into the fractured fifth metatarsal. The screw is intended to unite the bone fragments and help promote the formation of a true union. However a second procedure was required to replace the screw as its head had begun to rub against the neighboring cuboid bone, causing Durant pain and soreness. At the time Oklahoma City stated that the bone formation at the fifth metatarsal was progressing nicely. However the pain persisted and Durant was removed from basketball activities. Now, specialists have determined that the metatarsal has regressed and the best treatment option will be a proactive approach. Durant is slated to undergo a bone graft procedure at some point next week.
In the bone graft procedure, a portion of bone taken from elsewhere in the body (likely the tibia) will be grafted over the fracture site. The graft will help stimulate the growth of new bony tissue in the area as bone is capable of regeneration. Clippers forward Glen Davis underwent a similar procedure when the hardware in his fifth metatarsal fracture failed.
With the graft in place the Thunder medical team will spend the next six months analyzing the injury site and Durant’s biomechanics. The treatment and, more importantly, the time off should allow Durant to return to a high level of play. In the two seasons since Davis’ graft, he has not reported problems in his foot. However like the initial surgery, nothing is guaranteed and only time will determine Durant’s fate. Brooklyn center Brook Lopez suffered multiple hardware failures in his fifth metatarsal before opting for a first metatarsal osteotomy. In this procedure, bones in Lopez’ foot were surgically reshaped to divert force and stress away from the outside of his foot and reduce the odds of a re-injury. While this is an extreme case, nothing has come easy for Durant throughout this process and now the Thunder simply have to wait to see how the face of their franchise responds to treatment.