How 2 Amputated Toes Saved Deion Sanders From A Life-Threatening Condition

NFL star and Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders is known primarily for his contributions to the sport, but he recently underwent a procedure off the field that perhaps saved his life. People reported that Sanders, 54, revealed on his "Coach Prime" show that doctors amputated two of his toes after he developed complications from a dislocated toe and an inflamed nerve on his left foot.

Sanders began having problems in September when he underwent a routine procedure to remedy the situation, People reports. A few weeks later, his big toe and second toe began to turn black. This condition is called compartment syndrome, which resulted in his calf muscle swelling and causing severe pain. Doctors then performed a procedure, called a fasciotomy, to relieve the swelling. As it turned out, a more serious condition was behind this swelling which led to the eventual removal of the two toes on his left foot.

The problems were caused by blood clots

The cause of Sanders' discolored toes and the swollen calf was three blood clots that were preventing his calf, foot, and toes from getting proper blood circulation. The clots started at his calf and ran the length of his leg, which also caused swelling and pain. USA Today reports that his doctors classified the clots as life-threatening. Sanders called his mother with the news, and that was when he learned that blood clots ran in his family.

"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," Sanders was reported saying in USA Today. Sanders pointed out that he'd undergone a long journey but was on the road to recovery, and added that the most difficult part of the whole ordeal was having people help him with daily activities.