Sen. Carper Has Successful Foot Surgery

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) underwent successful surgery this morning to insert a two-and-a-half inch long titanium screw in the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot that he apparently broke while running his 25th Caesar Rodney Half-Marathon on Sunday, March 11, 2007.

The break is referred to as a "Jones Fracture," an injury not uncommon among runners and athletes.

Sen. Carper said the actual break likely occurred around the first mile mark of the 13.1 mile run when he stepped on a stone while running on the shoulder of Martin Luther King Blvd. He felt immediate discomfort in his right foot, but went on to complete the half-marathon run in an hour and 52 minutes, about two minutes off his time from the previous year.

Two days later when Sen. Carper arrived in Washington, the break was diagnosed by a Capitol physician, and the senator was fitted with an orthopedic boot. The senator and his doctor had hoped the boot would stabilize his foot enough for the bone to start healing, but the extensive walking and standing required by the senator’s daily commute to D.C. and moving throughout the Capitol complex each day made the break worse. X-rays taken this Tuesday in Washington confirmed the break was not healing properly, and today’s surgery was required to fully repair the break and avoid permanent damage to the foot.

The senator’s hour-long surgery was performed around 11:30 a.m., today, by Dr. Bill Newcomb at the First State Surgery Center near Newark.

Sen. Carper is resting comfortably at home in Wilmington this afternoon, but fully expects to resume his daily schedule and participate in events statewide over the week-long congressional spring recess that begins on Monday.

Next week, he will be in New Castle County on Tuesday, Sussex County on Wednesday, and Kent County on Thursday, with a full public schedule in all three counties.

A decision will be made early next week whether a cast will be needed. In the meantime, he will be on crutches for the next four to six weeks.