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By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
January 16, 2018
Category: Overuse Injuries
Tags: Turf Toe   sesamoiditis   fracture  

At the base of your big toe are two tiny bones known as sesamoids. Sesamoids are unique structures in the body in that they are bones that are embedded in tendons and not attached to other bones. When these little bones are injured or irritated, they can cause severe pain under the big toe. That’s when  Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care usually gets a call.

3 Common Sesamoid Injuries

The sesamoids can become inflamed due to excessive pressure and overuse brought about by many sports and activities, such as basketball, running, golf, tennis, ballet, and football. Acute injuries are also possible when there is a blow to that part of the foot or a sudden exertion and overstretching of the big toe joint. Common problems include:

  1. Sesamoiditis - this is an inflammation of the sesamoid bones or the tendons they are embedded in. It is characterized by a dull, aching pain beneath the toe joint that may come and go, depending on the activity or shoes you are wearing.
  2. Fracture - breaks in a sesamoid bone can be acute or chronic. Acute fractures are caused by a direct trauma or blow to the bone which causes immediate pain and swelling. A stress fracture is a crack in the surface of the bone and will produce an intermittent, aching pain.
  3. Turf Toe - the soft tissue around the big toe joint can be injured if the joint is overextended. Signs of turf toe include a sharp pain at the moment of injury (sometimes patients feel a “pop”) and swelling. The range of motion of the toe will be severely limited as well.

You can help reduce the risk of sesamoid injuries by limiting your time in high heels and avoiding repetitive stress on the big toe joint. If you feel you may have injured your sesamoids, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will examine your foot and determine the proper treatment to reduce pain and inflammation.

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