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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Bi-Partite Sesamoid versus Fractured Sesamoid? Email Discussion

Hi Dr. Blake,

  I am a 34 yr old active male.  About a month ago I stepped on some glass that had to be removed from my foot.  Flash forward three weeks and I had to get more glass removed by my podiatrist due to pain.  This caused me to favor the ball of my foot under my big toe to avoid the glass that was stuck in my pad under the pinky toe.  I started to notice soreness and tenderness a few weeks after limping on the ball of my foot.  Once the glass was fully removed my stride returned to normal and I began to return to normal exercises, hiking, dog walks and lifting weights.  After a hike 2 weeks ago I was stomping my boots on the ground to get mud off and felt a sharp twinge in the bottom of my foot under my big toe.  The pain quickly subsided on the ride home and I didn't think anything of it until a week later when I noticed some bruising on the outside of my big toe.  Around that time I was having pain in the sesamoid area when walking.  The area became more bruised and swollen over the next few days.  I began RICE, which did help.  I also put myself in a walking boot since I had one from a previous stress fracture on the opposite foot.  Today I had my appointment with a podiatrist and he seems to think my foot is inflamed/swollen from limping on it for a month putting extra pressure on the sesamoid region.  However, my one x-ray reveals a gap in my sesamoid bone.  The doctor thinks it could be a bipartite sesamoid bone or a possible fracture.  He didn't seem too concerned with it being a fracture but said it's possible.  He recommended a walking boot for 3 weeks with an orthotic insert to support.  I have a follow up in three weeks.  My question for you is does it seem like a fracture on that sesamoid or is it a bipartite or a combo (x-rays attached)?  I was hoping for a more concrete answer then maybe or maybe not.  So far pain and swelling with the boot has gone down, still some slight bruising.  I have an appointment with another podiatrist next week, should I ask for x-rays on the other foot to see if I have bipartites in both feet or possibly an MRI?  I've read a lot online and would like to be as proactive as possible with this injury.  Thanks for your time! 

 Dr. Blake’s comment: From my prospective, having seen fractures through bi-partite and tri-partite sesamoids routinely, it would be a dis-service not to get an MRI for a definitive answer. Until then, stay in the boot if it is helping. If you could not get an MRI, these are such problems, that I recommend treating for 3 months in a boot as if you were 100% sure it was broken.  We want to get the pain level to 0-2 quickly for healing. Hopefully, you just bruised the tissue, but even then a month in the boot may be needed. 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.