Deion Sanders is facing the harsh reality of possibly losing his left foot via amputation.
via: CBS Sports
According to an episode of the “The Pregame Show,” a YouTube channel documenting the Buffaloes football program. Sanders’ blood flow problem has been well-documented from his time at Jackson State when he had his left big toe and second toe amputated, forcing him to miss three games in 2021.
Sanders recently had an ultrasound to determine the cause of ongoing pain that occurs when he wears shoes for long periods of time. Several doctors, including University of Colorado vascular surgeons Dr. Donald Jacobs and Dr. Max Wohlauer, told Sanders that if the current pain in a dislocated toe isn’t dealt with soon it could lead to a more serious condition that will result in the amputation.
“You just have to understand what the risks are,” Jacobs said. “Things can cascade.”
Sanders, in response, said he was aware of the risks. “I only have eight toes,” he said. “So, I’m pretty sure I understand.”
The issue at hand, however, is that blood flow to Sanders’ foot has deteriorated quite a bit over the last few years. “Ordinarily, you have three arteries that are putting blood to your foot. After the procedures you had before, it’s down to one,” said Dr. Ken Hunt, Sanders’ orthopedic surgeon. “That one was a little bit tenuous. The risk of doing something here and having a problem similar to what you had before — or worse — was too high.”
Wohlauuer added that blood flow through the one artery Sanders has remaining is down to 66% after being at 100% following the previous procedure. Sanders asked the surgeons how to get the blood flowing through the arteries again, but it doesn’t appear to be something that can be completely fixed.
“You can get ’em open,” Jacobs said, “but the chance of keeping them open are not very good.”
With fall camp and the 2023 football season — Sanders’ first with the Buffaloes — quickly approaching, a decision on how to proceed has to be made.
“I don’t have feeling in the bottom of my foot, at all” Sanders said. “I just want to know what we can do because I want to do it this summer. Because, when we get rolling, I’m not going to have time to do it.”
It’s unclear what Sanders will decide to do moving forward, though he explained that the summer months, which includes speaking engagements and shooting commercials, would be the ideal time to fix the toe. After that, things won’t calm down for Sanders until the end of the winter recruiting period.