Deion Sanders
Source: Getty Images

Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders Underwent Several Foot Surgeries in 2021

Allison DeGrushe - Author
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Dec. 21 2022, Published 10:57 a.m. ET

Over the years, professional athletes have become comfortable opening up about their personal lives to fans.

From decorated gymnast Simone Biles discussing her mental health struggles at the Tokyo Olympics to figure skating champion Gracie Gold announcing she would seek professional help, athletes prove that anything can affect anyone. Now, this leads us to our next famous subject — Deion Sanders.

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The professional football Hall of Famer and current head football coach at the University of Colorado Boulder is incredibly open about his medical issues and often pulls back the curtain on his tragic foot injury.

Wait, what happened to the NFL legend's foot? Keep reading for all the known details.

Deion Sanders
Source: Getty Images
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What happened to Deion Sanders's foot?

In March 2022, during an episode of the SMAC Entertainment and Barstool Sports series Coach Prime, Deion opened up about the procedures he had on his injured foot in 2021. The former athlete revealed that he was diagnosed with three life-threatening blood clots, which led to his having two toes amputated on his left foot.

The episode detailed the operation and his three-week stay in a Mississippi hospital.

According to USA Today, the blood clots "started at his calf and ran the entire length of his leg and he developed compartment syndrome, which involves muscle pressure reaching levels that can limit the flow of blood and oxygen." After doctors told him about the amputation, Deion called his mother. She informed him that family members, including herself, had been diagnosed with or died from blood clots.

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"They were first talking about the amputation of toes, then the amputation of my leg from knee down, and then they were trying to ensure that I had life," Deion said in Coach Prime. After numerous surgeries, he had his big toe and second toe on his left foot amputated. Deion also lost 35 pounds during his hospital stay, according to USA Today.

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"The hardest thing of it all was to look down there and see that and understand once upon a time you were this type of athlete and [now] you don't even know if you're gonna walk because all you feel is pain and you just want to get out of the hospital," he explained. Deion added that it was tough to ask for help with ordinary tasks but assured fans that he would recover.

"It's been a long journey. I am on the road back," he said. "But I am here, and I am thankful."

Deion revealed his missing toes during an interview with Shannon Sharpe.

Deion isn't shy about his health issues, so much so that he showed off his missing toes during a recent interview with Shannon Sharpe. He told the former NFL tight end that it's been a rough year, noting that turf toe is the reason for his amputation.

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"They told me my foot has been dislocated for 18 years," he told Shannon, adding that as a college head coach, "I can make it through three quarters of a game, and after that, I'm limping like crazy. It's my new normal."

All things considered, Deion seems to be in high spirits.

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