The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Neymar da Silva Santos Jr., the Most Expensive Player of All Time, Fractures Foot

Posted by on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018


In March, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. underwent a successful surgery to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal foot injury. He can be seen here in a wheelchair paying tribute to the late scientific icon Stephen Hawking. With the Brazilian being named the most expensive player of all time, of course, fans are anxious to know what this prognosis means in terms of his estimated recovery time, PSG’s chances at the Champions League title, and Neymar’s participation in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this upcoming June through July.

The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in Manhattan routinely treats high-level athletes for ankle sprains and Jones fractures such as Neymar’s following accidents in basketball, dance, aerobics, gymnastics, running, lacrosse, or soccer.


The Most Expensive Player Of All Time
How will Neymar’s injury affect his 2018 FIFA World Cup participation? Image Source: Flickr user Elena Polio.

What Happened To The Most Expensive Player Of All Time?

The Paris Saint-Germain were on their way to a 3-0 win over Marseille on February 25th when Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. crumpled to the ground in agony after a brief tussle with Bouna Sarr for the ball. Their legs appeared to get tangled up a bit, but Neymar tumbled when attempting to chase Sarr down.

The 26-year-old was carted off the field on a stretcher at the 82-minute mark. The initial examination was reported as a twist to the ankle, hoping it was no more. Once the fifth metatarsal fracture was discovered, the team had no choice but to send him in for surgery.

Since joining the French campaign from Barcelona on a record-breaking $260 million contract, Neymar has scored 29 goals in 30 matches and provided 17 assists. It’s rumored Real Madrid is considering another world-record contract to solicit him at the end of the season.

Neymar’s Recovery Prognosis

Many well-known soccer stars have suffered fifth metatarsal fractures—David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Gabriel Jesus, John Terry. We’ve reported on the NFL’s Dez Bryant and the NBA’s Kevin Durant.

The metatarsals are the long bones that run down the foot and connect with the toes to provide weight-bearing support in the forefoot. The outermost bone leading up to the little toe is called the fifth metatarsal, which provides added stabilization and supports critical muscles involved in the gait cycle. Fractures in this region make the return to the field challenging, as it’s difficult for players to walk normally.

Poor blood supply in this area leads to notoriously slow healing. Most Jones fractures are treated non-operatively in patients who are not competitive athletes, as they can follow non-operative protocols of icing, resting, and taking several months of immobilization. Pro sports players who cannot afford the prolonged immobilization opt to have a screw placed across the fracture site that allows for faster mobilization.

Ninety-seven percent of the patients who undergo surgery will heal with no complications. Even so, the risk for non-union development is great in athletes who return to the field too soon. These athletes must undergo a second, more invasive surgery that prolongs the rehabilitation further and may result in a worse outcome. Fans have joked that it’s “convenient” that he happens to be back home in Brazil for his beloved sister’s birthday for the fourth year in a row, but it’s good to know he’ll have support in his recovery.

Doctors say Neymar will be assessed in six weeks to establish a possible date for training. The best timetable they can give now is about three months. We presume Neymar will take his time getting back to make sure he is 100% in time for the World Cup. Brazil will face off against Switzerland on June 17th before moving on to Costa Rica and Serbia.

Jones Fracture Treatment in NYC

The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine has imaging equipment right here in the office and board-certified surgeons on staff to assure you a proper diagnosis the first time. Our sports medicine doctors understand your need to get back to full mobility as quickly as possible. We offer full rehabilitation services, including advanced technologies like platelet-rich plasma injections and laser therapies that prompt faster healing. Contact us for immediate assistance with your foot or ankle injury.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.