What is Sesamoiditis?

Sesamoiditis is inflammation of the tendons that surround the two small sesamoids—bones that are located under the large toe on the bottom of your feet.

Sesamoid bones are not connected to any metatarsals. Instead, they are just embedded or connected to tendons. They help stabilize the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint that connects the phalanx in the big toe to the forefoot.

What Are the Causes of Sesamoiditis?

Inflammation of the two sesamoid bones causes sesamoiditis. Sesamoiditis can occur as a result of:

  • traumatic injury due to accidents or high impact
  • hyperextension of the big toe
  • sports that result in repetitive stress on the bottom of the big toe
  • dancing
  • running

What Are the Common Symptoms of Sesamoiditis?

Common symptoms of sesamoiditis depend on the extent and severity of the injury. Patients may experience:

  • pain in the ball of the foot
  • pain and tenderness under the first/big toe
  • inflammation
  • swelling
  • bruising
  • pain during extension or flexing the big toe
  • inability to bear the body's weight
  • fracture of one or both sesamoid bones

What to Expect During Treatment for Sesamoiditis at the Podiatrist

Treatment for sesamoiditis will depend on the extent of the injury. A proper footcare exam, as well as an evaluation of your lifestyle and complete medical history, is key to determining sesamoiditis by your podiatrist. Imaging tests such as X-rays can also help determine if a fracture is present.

Treatment can include:

  • custom orthotic footwear and insoles
  • cushion pads around the big toe to relieve pain
  • following the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) protocol to reduce weight bearing on the injured toe

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