Inflammation of one of the small seasamoid bones situated under the big toe joint.

Never heard of sesamoid bones or sesamoiditis? You’re not alone.

Many people don’t know what sesamoid bones are or how they differ from regular bones. 

What are Sesamoid Bones?

Before you can understand sesamoiditis, you need to understand the sesamoid bones.

Sesamoid bones are two peas sized bones situated beside each other and below the big toes where they attach to the foot. These bones are unique as they connect to the muscles with the help of your tendons, as opposed to most other bones which are connected at your joints.

What is Sesamoiditis?

Sesamoiditis is an inflammatory condition. It occurs when the tendons that connect the sesamoid bones to the muscles become inflamed.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

Most of the time, sesamoiditis is the result of overuse. It often occurs because a person is putting too much stress on this area of their foot.

This condition is common among runners and dancers, people who spend a lot of time on their feet. Baseball catchers are also prone to it due to the amount of time they spend squatting down in a position that can strain the forefeet.

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

If you’re dealing with sesamoiditis, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Pain at the Ball of the Foot: Pain at the bottom of the ball of the foot is one of the most common complaints among people dealing with sesamoiditis.
  • Bruising: Bruising around the same area can occur as well.
  • Difficulty Moving the Big Toe: Some people find that this condition affects their mobility, and they may have trouble moving their big toe or putting pressure on it.
  • Swelling: The big toe or the surrounding might also become swollen and inflamed as well.

How Is It Treated?

There are a few treatment options you may want to consider to relieve the symptoms of sesamoiditis.

Temporary lifestyle changes may be necessary to allow the inflammation to settle. For example, you may have to take some time off from your sport of choice to allow your sesamoid bones and tendons to heal. You may also benefit from applying cold compresses and using over-the-counter anti- inflammatory medications.

In some cases, your chiropodist may decide that taping the toes is best for you or recommend a cortisone injection to help reduce inflammation. Surgery is rarely required, as addressing the cause most always resolves the pain.

When Should You See a Doctor?

If you notice pain, inflammation, or any of the other symptoms associated with sesamoiditis, it’s a good idea to see your chiropodist as soon as you can. They’ll be able to rule out other conditions that can cause foot pain in this area and come up with a plan of action for treatment.

Remember addressing pain sooner rather than later will help get rid of the pain sooner rather than later.



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