Former NFL player Deion Sanders revealed his amputated toes during a Tuesday appearance on the podcast “Club Shay Shay.”
“It was a rough year last year,” Sanders is told host Shannon Sharpe while having his affected foot and leg massaged. “I had three surgeries for that.”
.@DeionSanders reveals his amputated toes for the first time ever on camera:
“First it was the leg, then life and the 2 toes…I thank God it got to 2 toes. Take them, I’m good!” pic.twitter.com/wgkBxnk4fE
— Club Shay Shay (@ClubShayShay) December 20, 2022
Sanders’ “rough year” began in September of last year when he underwent surgery for nerve inflammation and a dislocated toe, according to People. Weeks later, Sanders was back in the hospital diagnosed with a blood clot in his femoral artery. That one clot turned out to be three which developed a rare condition known as compartment syndrome, the outlet reported.
“Due to the clots, he wasn’t getting good circulation to his leg, lower leg and foot, and his calf muscle swelled up,” Dr. Steven Sheskier, an orthopedic surgeon and foot and ankle specialist told People. “The fascia, which goes over the muscle, became extremely tight, crushing the muscle, veins and artery. That’s why he was in so much pain.”
Sanders discovered that his family had a history of blood clots and as such, it became more likely that he would have to have his leg amputated below the knee, Sports Illustrated reported. (RELATED: Superstar Model Hailey Bieber Reveals Shocking Health Scare)
“They were talking about the amputation of toes. Then they were talking about the amputation of my leg from the knee down. Then, they were trying to ensure I had life,” Sanders stated per People.
In the end, Sanders only had to have his big toe and the second toe on his left foot removed, the outlet stated.
“The hardest thing of it all was to look down there and see that, and understand that once upon a time, you were this type of athlete,” Sanders said according to Sports Illustrated. “And you don’t even know if you’re gonna walk because all you feel is pain, and you just want to get out of this hospital. You just want to get out.”
Though Sanders is on the road to recovery, his “new normal” is living with almost constant pain, requiring him to have his foot and leg massaged “two or three times a day” to keep the blood circulating, he told Sharpe.
Despite it all, Sanders can laugh at his situation, joking with Sharpe that he wears a size 12 on his right foot and a size 11 on the other.