We don’t often think much about our feet or toes. That is of course, unless they become injured

and walking is then painful. Such is the case with sesamoiditis. Our feet have dozens of bones,

joints and ligaments. Sesamoids are among these. Small, pea shaped bones, sesamoids are

located below the big toe joint. As you might imagine, they play a big role in walking, running

and jumping. Here’s what you need to know if you sustain an injury.

What is Sesamoiditis?

With sesamoiditis the tendons surrounding the sesamoids become inflamed or irritated.

Sesamoiditis is brought on by overuse or undue pressure on the sesamoids. The following

symptoms are common with the condition:

  • Pain under the big toe that blooms rather than explodes. The pain may worsen with

certain activities.

  • Stiffness or pain that interferes with bending of the big toe.
  • Some people experience bruising and swelling.

What is sesamoid fracture?

Another injury concerning the sesamoids is sesamoid fracture. Fractures may be acute or

chronic. Acute sesamoid fractures are caused by a blow to the bone. The onset of pain and

swelling is immediate and can be severe. Chronic sesamoid fractures are brought on by overuse.

As with sesamoiditis, the pain is a dull ache that comes and goes with certain activities.

Diagnosis

Our Atlanta podiatrist has extensive experience with the diagnosis and treatment of sesamoiditis

and sesamoid fracture. Our examination will include manipulation of the foot and big toe.

Tenderness, range of motion, as well as pain on movement, will be noted. You may also be

asked to walk for further observation. X-rays or imaging may be required to determine and

finalize an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment options include:

  •  Taping or padding to reduce discomfort.
  • Orthotics or stiff soled shoes.
  • Modified activity, avoid what causes pain or aggravates the condition.
  • Anti-inflammatory pain relievers, such as Aleve
  • Immobilization of the foot, may include the use of a walkable boot or crutches.
  • Cortisone injections
  • Rest and ice have also been helpful in managing painful conditions of the sesamoids.
  • In some cases, surgery is indicated.

With appropriate interventions you can expect to make a full recovery in a few months. Our

Atlanta podiatrist will work in concert with you to arrive at the appropriate course of action for

your injury. Your treatment plan will be based on the type and extent of the injury. Improve

long-term outcomes by following the plan closely. Relieving painful conditions of the foot and

ankle is our specialty. When you need expert relief or professional advice give us a call. We are

here to help.

Dr. Fui Dawson
Podiatrist in Marietta, GA, Dr. Fui Dawson, is a Harvard trained Foot & Ankle Specialist treating patients in Marietta, GA and in the surrounding communities. Our clinic, Advanced Foot and Ankle Institute of Georgia, offers treatment for all foot and ankle conditions.
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