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Yankee Pitcher Suffers Double Foot Injuries: Turf Toe and Sesamoid Fracture

The professional baseball season has just started but already the injuries are mounting up.

Yankee reliever pitcher Bryan Mitchell will be out until at least August because of injuries suffered in a recent Disney World game against the Braves. One injury is bad enough, but Mitchell had the unfortunate luck to suffer two at the same time: a fractured sesamoid bone and a grade 3 turf toe injury. He underwent immediate surgery and is expected to be out for 4 months.

Sesamoid Bone Injuries

There are a few bones in our bodies that are not connected to other bones, instead connecting only to tendons. These are called sesamoid bones and there are 2 very small ones under the foot close to the big toe. Because they help us bear weight and transfer muscle force over the tendons, they are important for walking, jumping and running.

The sesamoid tendons can become inflamed with overuse, causing sesamoiditis. They can also be fractured from a forceful, sudden blow to the foot, causing immediate and severe pain.

Turf Toe

Mitchell’s second injury was a grade 3 turf toe injury. Turf toe is a sprain of the ligaments surrounding the big toe joint. It’s fairly common with football players, especially on artificial turf – hence the name – but can be seen in many other sports and other activities like ballet.

Symptoms of turf toe include swelling, pain and limited movement of the joint. Grade 3 means that the injury is severe and may require surgery. After surgery, long-term immobilization in a cast will be necessary to allow the ligaments to heal.

Treating Severe Toe Injuries

Many times conservative treatments like R.I.C.E. – rest, ice, compress and elevate – along with immobilizing the toe can help the problem. Steroid injections can reduce pain and inflammation, and custom-fitted orthotics will provide long-term treatment to redistribute pressure.

In serious cases such as Mitchell’s, surgery is indicated based on the individual’s needs. The presence of 2 different, simultaneous injuries – sesamoid fracture and turf toe – surely complicated his situation.

Contact Us for any Foot, Toe or Ankle Injury

Most serious, painful foot and ankle injuries will not heal on their own, and it can be very damaging to continue playing sports while injured. Please call Dr. Brandon Macy, board certified podiatrist at Clark Podiatry Center for help with any foot or ankle pain. You can reach us to make an appointment in our Clark office at 732-382-3470 or use the contact information at the website. Every patient is treated like a professional sports superstar at the Clark Podiatry Center!