Posted: March 30, 2007

U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper underwent successful surgery Friday morning to insert a two-and-a-half inch long titanium screw in the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot, which he apparently broke while running his 25th Caesar Rodney Half Marathon in Wilmington on March 11.

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

Carper, a second-term Democrat, said the break likely occurred at about the first mile marker of the 13.1-mile run when he stepped on a stone along Martin Luther King Blvd.  He felt immediate discomfort in his right foot but went on to complete the race in an hour and 52 minutes, about two minutes slower than his time in 2006.

Two days later, when 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 Tuesday in Washington confirmed the break was not healing properly, and surgery was required to repair the break and avoid permanent damage to the foot. The hour-long procedure was performed by Dr. Bill Newcomb at the First State Surgery Center near Newark. 

Carper is resting comfortably at home in Wilmington.He expects to resume his daily schedule and participate in events statewide over the week-long congressional spring recess beginning Monday.  

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