Walton Has Surgery on Right Foot

Times Staff Writer

Bill Walton, reserve center for the Boston Celtics, underwent surgery on his right foot Tuesday morning at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier to relieve the pressure that has caused his stress fractures.

Dr. F. William Wagner of the Wagner Institute in Whittier, who performed the surgery, said that all went well.

Wagner, who performed similar surgery on Walton’s left foot in 1981, said that the left foot healed well and has held up “beautifully” and that he expected the same for the right foot. “It takes months to heal,” Wagner said. “It’s not an overnight deal like some of the arthroscopic surgery where they can immediately announce that it was a success.


“We’re talking about a full year off. The team is willing to pay him for that year, which is great. I think that means that they’re counting, obviously, on getting him back to what he was before.”

Wagner is an orthopedic surgeon who limits his practice at the Institute to the foot and ankle. He specializes in treating diabetics and trying to save them from amputations of the lower leg. He also developed the process used on Walton to remove a couple of small bones in the foot and ankle and loosen the arch so that there is more range of motion and a better distribution of stress.

One small bone was removed from the ankle complex on the outside of the foot to give Walton more outward motion of the heel bone and relieve the stress that had been steered along the inner foot, resulting in a stress fracture of the navicular. Another small bone in the back of the ankle between the heel and the shin bone that had been deformed from the stress also was removed, as well as some arthritic bone spurs.