Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: December 31, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412961165 | Print ISBN: 9781412961158 | Online ISBN: 9781412961165| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Eugene S. Hong & Kathleen O'Brien
The sesamoid bones of the foot were named because of their resemblance to sesame seeds. Unlike most bones, which are connected to each other through muscles and tendons, the two small sesamoid bones are found embedded in the muscle/tendon of the flexor hallucis longus muscle. Injury to these bones often occurs when great stresses are placed on the foot, such as in running and ballet dancing. The flexor hallucis longus muscle is found on the undersurface (plantar surface) of the foot. It is responsible for flexing the great toe and is important in weight bearing and in transmitting forces through the foot, especially during push-off. The sesamoid bones act as a pulley for the muscle and, as such, allow much greater forces to be transmitted; a similar functional phenomenon elsewhere in the body is the kneecap (patella), which is also a sesamoid bone. The sesamoids also cushion and protect the ...