Health Team

Surgeon: Panthers' Allen could play despite fractured foot

Posted February 2

A key injury to a key cog in the Carolina Panthers defense has fans across the Carolinas checking out the injury report.

Defensive end Jared Allen fractured a foot in the win over Seattle on Jan. 17.

According to Dr. Allen Mask, the fact that Allen apparently did not require surgery indicates his was probably a non-displaced fracture, where the bone stays in place.

There are 26 bones in the foot, and all have the potential for fractures. Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Michael Fajgenbaum with Raleigh Bone and Joint made an educated guess about the injury.

"I think he may have had a fracture of what's called the fifth metatarsal because when I read about his injury, he said that he broke a bone that was close to the pinky toe," Fajgenbaum said. "This is a bone that is commonly broken in athletes, and often it requires fixation with a screw."

For most non-displaced fractures, orthopedists recommend several weeks to allow the bone to heal before bearing weight, but Fajgenbaum says that Allen could play with his injury.

"With the Super Bowl coming up, they could put an orthotic or splint in the shoe, you know, give him some ibuprofen or Aleve. He could probably play in that big game with it without doing more damage or harm," Fajgenbaum said.

Since his injury, Allen has likely been undergoing physical therapy. He did not play in the NFC Championship against Arizona, and he's been seen wearing some sort of cast to protect the injury and allow it to heal.

Doctors will use MRI technology to compare scans of Allen's foot immediately after the injury with his foot this week to determine the degree of healing as he returns to practice and apparently to the game on Sunday.

If he does play, Allen risks aggravating the injury, but that risk may be modified by limiting his playing time on Sunday.


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