Podiatrist: LeBron James’ $84,000 Footwear Won’t Protect from Injury
LEBRON James’ tricky feet need thousands of dollars in specialist care to stop painful ulceration impacting his game, a podiatrist has said.
And she thinks his right foot injury could’ve been inflamed further as the basketball star played on during Sunday’s game.
LeBron James soaks his feet after a baseball match when he was playing for the Cleveland CavaliersCredit: Getty
LeBron looks comfortable and happy at the Crypto.com Arena in LA in January despite spending a fortune on his ‘complicated’ feetCredit: Getty
On Sunday, February 26, the LA Laker injured his right foot when out on the court playing during the second half against the Dallas Mavericks.
And it looks like LeBron could now be out of the game for weeks.
Even as LeBron continued to play through the issue, it was reported that microphones on the court had picked him up saying that he’d “heard a pop” after falling and holding his right foot.
By Tuesday, February 28 and LeBron was photographed sitting on the Lakers bench during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The 6ft 9 basketball icon was wearing a walking boot on his right foot and while the Lakers are reportedly carrying out tests.
In an exclusive interview award-winning podiatrist Marion Yau told The U.S. Sun: “It’s amazing that LeBron carried on playing.
“Playing probably made it worse, as he has also had the left ankle issue before.
“Carrying on in the game on Sunday likely exacerbated the right ankle and now he’s probably on prolonged rehabilitation.
“He’ll be doing balancing exercises and strengthening exercises.
“LeBron will be doing physio to support the ligaments in his right ankle and the muscles.
“It’s probably the best thing for LeBron and given his age to consistently rehab this injury until he’s ready to go back.
“Even when LeBron is injured, he seems to just keep on going.
“As amazing as that is, that’s not good at all for his feet and ankles.”
LeBron James’ resting his right foot after getting injured during a Lakers game on Sunday February 26Credit: Instagram/lebron
Before Sunday’s fall and earlier in February and LeBron had sustained an injury to his left ankle.
And while the player received a scan that showed no issue, the freshly crowned all-time leading NBA scorer sat out a game.
“From his injury report around the time of the scan on the left ankle, it might take time to recover fully compared to previous years, ” says Marion.
“From then his team podiatrist would have been providing taping, massages, orthotics changes, and rehabilitation for this left ankle.”
LeBron getting his feet and ankles taped up in the locker room in 2011Credit: Getty
Our expert adds: “Otherwise from looking at past images of LeBrons feet, I can see there are also deformities on his left foot.
“There’s a loss of pigmentation on two toes.
“LeBron has a complicated left foot where his second toe overrides his big toe, his third and fourth toes are raised, and his fifth toe overlaps his fourth one.
“A podiatrist would need to be consulted regularly to reduce the thick skin that builds up because of these raised toes and the overlap.
“There’s a lot of pressure rubbing against his skin, which can cause dead skin and eventually ulceration.
“A scalpel would be used to painlessly remove the hard skin causing the skin to become whiter.
“LeBron could have his toes tattooed to get the color back.
“I would say that every month he’d be likely spending around $7,000 on orthotics and custom sneakers, podiatric care, and the rehabilitation for his ankle.
“That’s a huge bill – adding up to $84,000 a year.”
LeBron has custom sneakers made by Nike that would help protect his feetCredit: Splash
LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball stars of all time, with the 6’9″ NBA player in his fifth year with the LA Lakers.
But since the 38-year-old athlete was planning to bring his team to the playoffs, his age, latest right foot injury, and overall health of his size 15 feet are important.
At a press conference last year, on retirement and his physique LeBron said: “I don‘t have a number,” when asked how many years he has left in the game.
He added: “I know as long as my mind stays in it, I can play at this level for a minute.
“Now, that’s up to my mind. My body is going to be OK because if my mind is into it, I will make sure my body is taken care of, and I’ll continue to put in the work.”
LeBron’s left foot has problematic toes which overlap and could lead to ulceration if he doesn’t have foot treatments every six to eight weeksCredit: BackGrid
“I can also see in the images of LeBron’s feet that he has a moderate hallux abductor valgus,” adds Marion.
“This is usually hereditary and is caused by genetics.
“He’d have been managing and living with this for a very long time.
“Management and treatment are really expensive.
“When I see patients with these types of feet, they usually don’t experience any foot pain and can function normally.
LeBron ahead of a basketball match, with bandaged ankles and where his overlapping toe is visible on his left footCredit: Getty
“For his other regular foot treatments, he’d visit a podiatrist every six to eight weeks.
“If he doesn’t take care of his feet and do the scalpel treatment and get the calluses removed, he’d get ulcerations where the tissue breaks down on his toes.
“There would be pain around the large toe and he would be impacted.
LeBron James has a pedicure where his left toes show signs of pigmentation lossCredit: Splash
“In theory, with the pigmentation on the left toes, it if never came back and he wanted to, LeBron could get them tattooed.
“But the cause of the pressure would have to be addressed or else the skin would have to be removed and pigmentations happen again.
“And as people age the skin becomes thinner, you get infections a bit easier and wound healing’s delayed.
“What I currently see is that LeBron wears good shoes, has orthotics, and has really good podiatric care.
“When we see him wearing sliders, there’s less rubbing against the toes and they help reduce the pressure on the toes.
“But otherwise he needs to wear specially made shoes. “
LeBron has regular podiatric and massage treatments on both his feet as seen here ahead of a basketball game in San Antonio, TexasCredit: Getty
Orthotics are custom-designed insoles that are inserted into shoes and give arch and heel support while cushioning the foot.
And with a price tag of around $2000 a pair, given LeBron’s match and training commitments, once he’s back in the game, he’d likely need to change these every few weeks.
Adding on custom-made and comfy Nike sneakers, the costs of LeBron’s specialist footwear appear to be racking up.
“Basketball players’ sidewalls are subjected to a lot of force when cutting,” adds Marion.
“So the shoes are designed to withstand pressure while cutting and can last for at least a few months, even if the user plays daily.
“High-cut shoes reduce injuries by providing maximum ankle, and foot support. However, these high-cut shoes are heavier and more expensive.
“Because they sprint and jump, more force is likely to be applied to the ankles and feet so ankle and foot injuries are more likely.
“LeBron also wears orthotics which he would change every two months.
“If he gets injured more now though, it will be harder for him to recover.
“Obviously, with age, your ligaments are weakened as well.”
LeBron often wears sliders in the locker room before and after basketball games (seen here in 2007)Credit: Getty
LeBron walks barefoot in Miami where the toe on his left foot overlaps his big toe and where a podiatrist says his skin requires regular scalpel treatmentCredit: BackGrid
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