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Sesamoid Fractures: Even Santa Can Get Them

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

There are two sesamoid bones tucked in the tendons surrounding your big toe. They work together as a kind of pulley system to help the joint move. Because they bear your weight and are used frequently, they are susceptible to fracture like any other bone. This is seen mainly with people who participate in high impact sports such as running, gymnastics, aerobics, and ballet. If you think about it though, it wouldn’t be surprising if Santa himself suffered sesamoid fractures.


After all, they often occur due to falling from a great height (perhaps from tripping over lights on a rooftop) and landing heavily on your feet (no offense, big guy). The injury can also happen as a result of something heavy crushing the foot (like perhaps a giant sack full of toys). However it occurs, symptoms are the same: swelling, bruising, tenderness, and limited range of motion—not fun when you’ve got a long night ahead of you!


Acute sesamoid fractures are immediately painful at the injury site, while the pain of a stress fracture tends to come and go with activity and rest. So, Old Saint Nick might feel it Christmas Eve, but luckily he has a long off-season to recuperate since rest and immobility are the top treatment methods. There are also medications that can be prescribed, as well as over-the-counter padding that can help take pressure off of the area.


The jolly old elf would do himself some good to schedule a stop at Gulf South Foot & Ankle to get his foot checked out. We can show him how to tape the big toe in order to relieve tension, and we may recommend some orthotic inserts to put in his boots. Once he’s done delivering gifts, we’ll get him started with some physical therapy to restore mobility and function. If all else fails, surgery may need to be planned, but don’t worry—we’ll make sure it doesn’t conflict with his world travel!


If you think you have symptoms similar to Santa and are suffering from sesamoid fractures, contact the experts at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC today. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Leon Watkins, Dr. Maria Markiewicz, or Dr. Charles Caplis, call (504)-708-4810, or visit our office in Metairie, LA. Have a happy and healthy holiday! Ho, Ho, Ho!


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