Running Breakdown: Sesamoid Injuries of the Foot

One of the worst injuries anyone can be afflicted with is a sesamoid injury. The sesamoids are two small circular bones in the ‘ball’ of your foot. Though a crucial component to the function of your foot these little bones are too often forgotten when taking count of the number of bones in the foot, which are 28 not 26.  These two pea sized bones are part of a complex of ligaments and tendons that take a large brunt of the weight distribution during running or walking.  Embedded within the tendon of the flexor brevis tendon they sit below the first metatarsal, one of the largest and strongest bones of the foot.  When your big toe dorsiflexes, or moves up during activities, these bones slide forward to assist with the motion. 

 

While we are talking about this a running breakdown, injury to these bones can occur in any number of instances.  Running, walking, wearing high heels, and numerous sports are all activities that can contribute to this injury.   The injuries we are talking about include turf toe, fracture, or inflammation:

 

Turf Toe:  Named so because of the increased incidence in athletes playing on artificial turf. This type of injury is a strain or tear of the ligaments that make up the complex with your sesamoids at the big toe joint.

 

Fracture:  Sesamoids are at risk of fracture as is any other bone in your body.  High impacts or increased pressures can cause the bone to crack or, in the instance of a stress fracture, become bruised.

 

Sesamoiditis:  This is the inflammation injury.  You cannot usually relate this injury to any specific incidence, but rather has slowly become worse with time.  As with plantar fasciitis, the can easily become a chronic condition before seeking out treatment.

 

Your Austin podiatrist is an expert foot physician and the best person to see for any foot injuries.  Early treatment with anti-inflammatory medications, taping and padding along with progressive physical therapy is often effective means to treat low grade injuries.  When a tear occurs, your doctors at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists are extensively trained in the best surgeries to get you well.  The sooner you visit a foot expert, the sooner you can get back to you daily activities pain free!

Dr. Shine John, DPM, FACFAS
Podiatric Physician, Surgeon, Specialist at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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