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EXCLUSIVE: NYC Foot Surgeon Talks with The Jet Press About Holmes Injury

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Sept 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes (10) catches a pass while being defended by San Francisco 49ers strong safety Donte Whitner (31) during the first half at MetLIfe Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

In the aftermath of learning the extent of Santonio Holmes’ injury, and that he is lost for the year, I wanted to bring in some more detail from an expert as to why this injury is so significant. Luckily, we were able to do this, thanks to a NYC doctor.

Dr. Neal Blitz is an internationally recognized Reconstructive Foot Surgeon, practicing in Manhattan. He holds the position of Chief of Foot Surgery and Associate Chairman of Orthopedics at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital. He has significant experience if complex foot trauma, sports injuries and major reconstruction. Dr. Blitz was gracious enough to sit down with the Jet Press for a brief interview about “Lisfranc” injuries, and what it could potentially to Santonio Holmes and his career. Take a look:

THE JET PRESS:The Jets have confirmed that Holmes has a “Lisfranc” injury, ending his season. Give my readers a layman’s explanation as to what this injury is.

DR. NEAL BLITZ:A Lisfranc’s injury is best described as a severe sprain of the midfoot ligaments. The midfoot is stabilized by a complex configuration of strong thick ligaments that support several bones. Injury to these ligaments can render the midfoot joint unstable.

A Lisfranc’s injury is pure ligamentous sprain of the midfoot. When small fracture(s) are present, there is complete rupture of the ligaments. With severe injury there is also dislocation of the joints.

In Holmes case, it is highly likely that his ‘Lisfranc’s injury’ is just a simple sprain, and I suspect there is also small fractures that were hidden on the XR, indicating that he has at least a Lisfranc’s fracture. The real question is whether or not his midfoot is stable.

TJP:How much more difficult does surgery(which we found out Santonio is going to require) make the situation?

DNB:Surgery is typically recommended when the midfoot joint is found to be unstable. Surgery for unstable injuries varies based on surgeons, but typically involves placing wires and or screws to hold the bone in the proper position while the ligaments heal – a process that takes 6-8 weeks in a cast and crutches, followed by rehabilitation.

Sep 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets player Santonio Holmes (10) is helped off the field after an injury against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

TJP:In another discussion, you told me that “Lisfranc” is only the “tip of the iceberg”. Can you expand on that for us?

DNB:Any Lisfranc’s injury can lead to chronic foot pain, and ultimately arthritis of the midfoot. Unstable injuries carry the worst prognosis – with or without surgery. Because there is such a high risk for the development of arthritis with some severe injuries, I sometimes perform more drastic reconstructive procedures to stiffen up the midfoot.

TJP:What is the rehab like? The Jets expect Holmes to be completely ready for 2013. Is that realistic, or could there be complications?

DNB:As far as Holmes rehab, there are still some missing pieces, and his exact condition is not entirely known. I imagine they will be quiet from here on in, and we won’t get a full disclosure. With or without surgery, this season is a wash. As for his future, only time will tell whether or not his midfoot will be able to meet the demands of his position. We can only hope he doesn’t develop midfoot arthritis that interferes with his ability to shine or play for that matter.

Very interesting stuff. Based on what Dr. Blitz is saying, it would appear based on what we have learned, that the stability of the midfoot is in question, and if so that typical scenario that requires surgery, and they carry a worst prognosis. The potential is there, as I am interpreting what Dr. Blitz is saying, that the potential is there that Holmes will never be the same.

Other guys have come back from this, so it’s not a guarantee that Holmes will be a different player next year. Time will tell, but one thing is for sure, this is major. As major as Darrelle’s ACL issue.

Such is life as a New York Jets fan.

We thank Dr. Neal Blitz very much for taking the time to talk with us. To learn more about the doctor, please visit his website at www.DrNealBlitz.com

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