• Matt Nguyen

John Wall Expected to Miss Remainder of Season Following Surgery For His Left Heel


Washington Wizards’ point guard John Wall will undergo season-ending surgery to his left heel next week. The surgery will address a Haglund’s deformity and hopefully rid Wall of his nagging heel pain. Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, WI will be performing the surgery. According to coach Scott Brooks, Wall has been dealing with left heel pain for the past couple of seasons. The initial timeline to return to basketball activities is 6-8 months.

John Wall has already missed a handful of games this season due to this injury. With the way the Wizards’ season has played out, Wall probably decided that this was the best time to get the surgery done in order to prepare for next season.

So let’s take a dive into what exactly is going on with the star’s troublesome heel.

What is Haglund’s deformity? As seen in the picture below, it is a bony bump that forms on the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches. There’s no true cause to the formation of the bump, but there are some features that have been linked to Haglund’s by doctors. Tight Achilles tendons, high arches, and even certain types of footwear are such attributing factors.

Because of the bump, the soft tissue surrounding the Achilles tendon is prone to more irritation. There is a fluid sac called a bursa that lies between the Achilles tendon and the bone that typically gets irritated and leads to bursitis. This was probably the issue that Wall was dealing with throughout the first part of this season. He most likely went through bouts of physical therapy to decrease the pain and inflammation, but ultimately decided that a surgery would be a better long term outcome.

Surgery for Haglund’s deformity involves having the bony bump shaved down through an open incision. Doctors will also check the integrity of the Achilles tendon and repair the tendon as needed. Here’s a link to a great video animation of the surgery.

The recovery time for Wall will depend on what exactly is done during surgery. For sure, the bony bump will be removed. The Achilles tendon will be the factor that decides when he can return. An Achilles repair will prolong his recovery. Players such as Wes Matthews and Boogie Cousins have successfully returned or are in the process of returning, but it took them approximately 10-12 months.

With the state that the Wizards are in, I’m sure there’s no real rush to have Wall return. They’re still deciding on whether or not to press the destruct button and rebuild the team. The hope is that when Wall returns, there is progress in which direction the team wants to move in.

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