Kent Bazemore’s Torn Tendon

Kent Bazemore, of the Lakers, has a lot of potential as a young athlete. This was his second season to play professional basketball. Bazemore is the 6-foot-5 guard for the Lakers, and will unfortunately be sitting out the rest of the season due to a foot injury. Bazemore sustained a tear in the peroneus longus tendon, which courses along the plantar, or bottom part of the foot, and runs medially. The most common way to tear the peroneus longus tendon is by forced dorsiflexion, or upward motion of the foot. An MRI of Bazemore’s foot confirmed a tear in the peroneus longus tendon in the right foot. He will soon undergo surgical correction of the torn tendon.

The peroneal longus and brevis muscles are located on the outside part of the leg, and the tendons continue down into the foot. The peroneus brevis stays lateral, or on the outside of the foot, while the peroneus longus courses medially, or towards the inner part of the foot. The peroneal muscles are important in eversion of the foot, and play an important part of steady gait. Tears of the peroneus brevis are more common, and often occur with a lateral ankle sprain. The weakest portion of the peroneus longus tendon is on the plantar aspect of the foot along the cuboid bone, which is the bone on the outer part of the mid foot. The peroneus longus tendon is ruptured either longitudinally or transversely. A longitudinal tear is more common, and occurs when the peroneus longus tendon pulls against the peroneus brevis tendon until it tears longitudinally. A tear in either tendon can be troublesome, and even career ending, but there are a few treatments available.

Non-surgical options include rest, ice, compression, and pain medications. A walking cast or boot may aid the healing process. In athletes non-surgical options are not usually pursued to give the athlete the best chance at returning to activity, and allowing a faster recovery. Surgical options include tendonesis, which is a procedure that involves sewing the damaged part of the tendon to the normal tendon, or tendon debridement and repair, which involves removing the inflamed portion of the tendon, and replacing it with normal tendon, or possibly even a graft from the Achilles tendon. After surgery immobilization is required for 6-12 weeks. Bazemore might be out for the season, but with the proper care he should be back in the game next season.

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By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia