By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 13, 2016
Tags: sesamoiditis  

Are you experiencing pain under your big toe or on the ball of your foot? Is it painful to bend and straighten your big toe? Have you noticed any swelling or bruising on the ball of your foot? If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, you may have a condition known as sesamoiditis.

What are Sesamoids?

Sesamoids are tiny bones that are embedded in muscle or connected only to tendons. This bone structure occurs in only a few places in our bodies and one of them is the bottom of the foot. Two sesamoids are near the base of the big toe. Their job is to provide a smooth surface for tendons to glide over easily. This helps with weight bearing and bending the big toe.  When the tendons near the sesamoids get inflamed, sesamoiditis is the result. The inflammation is usually the result of overuse and at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we see it fairly often in runners, baseball and softball catches, dancers and other patients who participate in other activities that put an excessive amount of pressure on the toes and forefoot.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The first step is to have one of our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah take a look at your foot.  During your appointment at our Monroe, Edison or Monmouth Junction office, the foot doctor will focus on the joint of your big toe. The podiatrist may observe you walking and check the wear pattern of your shoes. X-rays or other imaging studies may also be ordered. Once a diagnosis of sesamoiditis is confirmed, the foot doctor will want you to rest the foot and take a break from the activity that is causing the irritation to the tendons. There are several treatment options available:

  • Icing the sole of the foot and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
  • Inserting cushioning or padding into shoes  to protect the inflamed area
  • Steroid injections

In extreme cases, you may need to wear a removable brace on your feet for several weeks to allow the bones to heal. It’s best not to delay seeking treatment. If you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot, contact us by calling: 732-662-3050.