Giants Football Star Fighting for His Foot

Just a few weeks ago, NY Giants player Daniel Fells suffered an ankle injury during an NFL practice…now the 32-year-old tight end is facing a foot amputation!

Apparently, the young player injured his toe and ankle and was given shots of cortisone to help him cope with the pain. A week later, he was still experiencing pain and his wife took him to the hospital with a high fever—there, it was discovered that Fells had contracted a MRSA infection in his foot.

MRSA is a type of staph infection that’s resistant to most antibiotics—it has long been a risk for athletes since it thrives in warm, close environments like locker rooms and can be passed between individuals through regular team mate activities like sharing soap, towel, razors or other personal objects.

According to a 2007 report commissioned by ESPN: “Football is a sport where people tend to get a lot of breaks in the skin from abrasions they sustain when they go down,' says Jeff Hageman, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 'And we know that with staph and with MRSA, it requires breaks in the skin to actually cause disease.' Several prominent NBA players have also suffered staph infections, including Paul Pierce of the Celtics and the Cavaliers' Drew Gooden."

 As Fells faces the very real possibility of losing his foot (an amputation could be necessary to keep the infection from spreading to the bone, bloodstream and the rest of the player’s body), the Giants staff are scrubbing their locker room and praying for his recovery.

My best wishes go out to this young athlete. I want to reassure athletes being treated in my Houston podiatric office that our environment is always sterile and kept in the best condition to prevent this type of tragedy.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.