What Are Sesamoid Bones?

An interesting fact about the sesamoid bones that separates them from others is that they are not directly connected to any other bone and float freely. They are surrounded by muscle or connected to tendons and ligaments. The largest sesamoid bone in your body is the kneecap. There are also two much smaller, pea-sized sesamoid bones located on the bottom of the forefoot right behind your big toe.

These bones help to bear the weight and stress of walking, and raise the bones of the big toe, while also helping the tendons to move efficiently. Not only can the sesamoid bones themselves break from stress, but also the soft tissue around them can become inflamed or bruised causing considerable pain and discomfort in a condition called sesamoiditis. Since sesamoiditis has similar symptoms to Morton’s neuroma, it’s important to see your foot doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of sesamoid bone injury include:

  • Pain and discomfort in the ball of your foot
  • Pain and discomfort when trying to bend or straighten the big toe
  • Swelling and bruising

In diagnosing a problem with the sesamoid bones, your podiatrist will perform a physical exam to determine whether you can move your toe upwards without an increase in pain. A fractured sesamoid bone usually shows up on an x-ray, or your doctor may order an MRI bone scan. Surgery is rarely required, and may involve the complete removal of the sesamoid bone.

Treatments for sesamoid bone issues in the foot may include:

  • Rest and ice and elevate the foot to relieve swelling and pressure.
  • Take oral Ibuprofen or other Nsaids for pain.
  • Wear shoes with more cushioning in the sole.
  • Use pads for cushioning and isolation.
  • Our doctor may tape the big toe to isolate movement and to provide for better plantar fascia flexion.
  • Steroids may reduce inflammation.
  • Orthotic inserts can be used to decrease pressure points that are causing pain.

If you need help with a sesamoid bone issue, the foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems, and will be happy to assist. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

How to Treat a Stress Fracture

Frequently seen in runners and athletes, stress fractures (or hairline fractures) are created by the repetitive pounding that occurs during recreational and competitive sports, especially those that involve a high degree of running, jumping, and fast stops and starts, such as tennis, soccer and basketball.

Additionally, a stress fracture can occur when a sedentary individual decides to suddenly start exercising without doing the recommended warm ups and slow introduction of the new activity. Your bones are not used to this pressure, and are more susceptible to injury. Most of the time hairline fractures develop gradually, and usually affect the other major weight bearing bones including the lower leg bone (tibia), the bones above the toes (metatarsals), and other bones of the foot.

The best method of confirming the diagnosis of a stress fracture is with an MRI scan. Once other causes have been ruled out, the frequently difficult procedures of treatment and rehabilitation can start.

Treating a Stress Fracture

The only way to effectively heal a stress fracture is to allow the break to completely heal. An immobilizing cast or walking boot may be prescribed by your foot doctor and the initial healing period can take anywhere from four to twelve weeks or more, depending upon the severity of the injury.

After the initial healing stage has been successfully completed, you probably will no longer feel any pain during low stress movements such as walking, but it is very important that you gradually reintroduce activities such as exercising, running or playing sports since trying to do too much too quickly might cause a reinjury.

In severe cases of stress fracture, surgery involving the use of pins or other hardware may be necessary. A long recovery period and extensive physical therapy lasting six months or more is often needed for complete healing.

If you have suffered a stress fracture to your foot, seeing your podiatrist is the best way to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Foot Fungus May Spread Without Treatment

Fungal infection on the feet is a common condition that usually starts between the toes and can spread very fast to other areas, especially the toenails. Yeasts and molds may also cause these types of infections. Fungi really love the warm, humid, and dark environment created by wearing socks, shoes and sneakers. The condition is often referred to as “Athlete’s Foot” since the microorganisms that cause it are frequently found around locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools, where they can easily find new hosts, including you.

You don’t have to be particularly athletic to acquire foot fungus. Some of the other factors that increase the chances of running into these annoying microbes include:

You can decrease your risk of acquiring foot fungus by practicing good hygiene:

  • Wash your feet every day with soap and water
  • Keep them dry, particularly between the toes
  • Wear sandals when using athletic facilities, showers, locker rooms and pool areas
  • Use talcum powder to reduce moisture
  • Wear socks that take away moisture

Patients with diabetes should always be on alert for fungal infections, as this problem can lead to serious infections that can spread beyond your feet into your legs.

If the fungi have spread to your toenails, it is very important to seek the advice of a podiatrist, since permanent damage to the nail can result. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Selecting the Correct Running Shoe

Getting regular exercise through running is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your health, with benefits to your cardiovascular system, a pronounced decrease in heart disease and obesity, and quantifiable boosts in mood and mental health. The only things you need to take advantage of all these benefits is a properly fitted pair of running shoes, and someplace to run!

With all the varieties and styles of athletic footwear available, choosing a running shoe can be a daunting task, especially if you are just starting out.

Here are some helpful tips to help you select the right shoe:

  • Arch assessment—You can quickly get a good idea of what type of arch you have: Wet your feet, and stand on a tile floor and look at the imprint your feet leave behind. If the middle part of the imprint is missing, then you have a high arch. If the entire outline of your foot is visible, then you have flat feet.
  • Shoe type—Depending upon your arch and other factors, you may need a neutral, stabilizing, or motion control shoe. Neutral shoes are more flexible and provide cushioning for those who tend to underpronate due to a high arch. A stability shoe has a moderate amount of arch support for those with arches of average height and who tend to overpronate. People with low arches or flat feet can benefit from a motion control shoe that gives additional support to the inside part of the foot. They are a little heavier, and have more support in the heel area.

Be sure to go to a reputable sports shoe store with knowledgeable staff, and see your foot doctor for help in determining your arch support requirements and to assess any gait abnormalities. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).