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Saturday, May 9, 2020

Sesamoid Fracture: Email Advice

Dr. Richard Blake,

I recently broke my sesamoid bone walking in a new pair of work shoes. As you can see in the xrays the fracture gap seems wide to me. How does one bridge the gap? And should removal surgery be on my mind. I am three weeks into the boot and just ordered a stimulator. I am hoping a couple months on the 0-2 level promotes healing. What are your thoughts? Is full recovery possible after therapy? Thank you for your videos and time.

Very Respectfully,

Dr. Blake's comment: Thank you so very much for the email. I am glad you are in the boot, and should stay that way for 3 months. The bone stimulator should be a 9 month ordeal, even if you are back running by then. Here is some advice that holds true from another post. 

  1. Put your foot on an ice pack 3 times daily for 10 minutes to reduce inflammation. You want to have all some symptoms from the break and none from the surrounding inflammation. Avoid anti-inflammatory meds since they can slow down bone healing.
  2. Talk to your podiatrist about getting a bone stimulator from Smith and Nephew called Exogen. You place on your foot 20 minutes twice daily. The bone stim company will work with you insurance company so you know what you have to pay beforehand. The bone stim will probably for the next 6 months.
  3. Discuss you Calcium and Vit D levels/intake with your internist to make sure they are not a problem. I would consider a bone density screen, and especially if you have any family history of osteoporosis. Get your Vit D 25 levels.
  4. Make sure you can make that removable boot into a painfree environment. All podiatrists know that one well.
  5. Learn how to do spica taping as shown on the video above.
  6. Get a baseline MRI. Plan on another one 3 or 4 months later.
  7. Have a PT show you some simple strengthening exercises to start doing now. Everyday you are losing strength, and it will take longer to get better the weaker your foot is, but you can not produce pain. My blog has ample exercises that you can review with the physical therapist including playing the piano, metatarsal doming, flat footed balancing, and inversion/eversion resistance band exercises.
Surgery is needed in 10% of the population, for many reasons. From 6-12 weeks in the boot, you will need to find someone to make good orthotic devices to protect you as you wean from boot to shoe. Some will use the rocker on the Hoka One One shoe to help, others just find the traditional athletic shoe is fine. Try to get some Dr. Jill's dancer's padding to begin using. You will need some protection, even slight, for up to 2 years at times, so the Dr. Jills can be used in sandals, high heel shoes, etc. Xrays are a small help, but MRI is crucial I think, especially if it gets to the point of deciding on surgery. I hope this helps you. Good luck in your journey as the country gets back to some normalcy!! Rich 

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.