Deion Sanders’ Update on His Amputation: “I’m Fighting Back!”

(Photo by Tom Cooper/Getty Images for Prime Video)

NFL Hall-of-Famer and Colorado Football coach Deion Sanders didn’t hesitate to shock both the show’s hosts and viewers by displaying his dismembered foot, an action that left Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan visibly startled.

During the segment, Strahan expressed the collective sentiment of the morning audience, exclaiming, “Oh, let’s not do that! This is morning TV! People are eating breakfast, Deion, you can’t do that!” Sanders, however, seemed unfazed by the timing or the setting, cheekily responding, “You mean this, with eight toes?” as he rolled up his pants to reveal his amputated foot.

Sanders’ casual and confident demeanor underscored his pride and resilience. “I’m proud of my amputation,” he declared, emphasizing his determination to fight back against his health challenges. Sanders’ journey, filled with numerous surgeries and significant physical setbacks, showcases his spirit and relentless drive. “I’m not shy about what transpired. I’m back. I’m fighting back, baby,” he continued.

“I’m getting better,” Sanders said. “My health journey has been a tremendous challenge but a learning experience as well.” He went on to say, “I remember last year close to this time, I had two surgeries in my thighs to remove blood clots and the goal was just to run out the first game before my team.” The root of Sanders’ medical issues lies in severe blood clots that have plagued his legs over recent years.

In 2019, Deion Sanders revealed that he had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This diagnosis came as a shock to many, as Sanders had always been known for his athleticism and physical fitness.

At 56, he has undergone 12 surgeries to alleviate the pain caused by these clots. Since 2022, two of these procedures resulted in the amputation of his toes. Despite these personal health battles, Sanders remains focused on his role in Boulder with the Buffs.

What Caused Deion’s Blood Clots?

According to The NIH, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein, usually the leg. Amputation is one of the serious complications that can occur if DVT is left untreated.

Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots

  • throbbing or cramping pain;

  • swelling;

  • warm skin around the painful area;

  • red or darkened skin around the painful area;

  • swollen veins that are hard or sore when you touch them.

These symptoms can also occur in the arm or stomach. Emergency medical attention should be sought if you have the above symptoms accompanied by breathlessness or chest pain.

DVT can be very serious. The blood clot can block blood flow to the leg, or it can break off and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. This can be life threatening and needs treatment straight away.

Who is Most Likely to Get this Condition?

DVT is more likely to happen if you are over 60, overweight, smoke, have had DVT before, take the contraceptive pill or HRT, have cancer or heart failure, or have varicose veins.

You can also be at risk of DVT in some temporary situations such as being confined to bed, going on a long journey, or if you are pregnant or dehydrated.

How is it Treated?

You can have an injection of anticoagulant (blood thinning) medicine, heparin, while you are waiting for an ultrasound scan to tell if you have a DVT.

After DVT is diagnosed, the main treatment is to take anticoagulant tablets for at least three months. If this medicine is not suitable, you may have a filter put into a large vein (the vena cava) which traps and stops a blood clot travelling to your heart and lungs. A newer form of treatment involves breaking up and sucking out the clot through a small tube in the vein.

How can this Lead to amputation?

A delayed or missed diagnosis of DVT can sadly have serious and life-changing implications. When left untreated, a blood clot can block or restrict blood flow to the arteries in the limb making amputation a necessary and life-saving procedure.

The pain Deion felt in his toes and in his legs, he initially thought it came from old injuries. But it was after the doctors performed surgeries that he felt the pain continue which led him to discover the blood clots.

Coach Prime is setting he example to go get checked out if something doesn’t feel right with your body. You can be your greatest advocate.