What is Sesamoiditis?

Sesamoiditis is the inflammation of the sesamoid bones.

What are Sesamoid Bones?

Sesamoid bones are the small, round bones embedded within the tendons leading to the big toe. They are a part of the big toe in your forefoot.

Cause of Sesamoiditis

The main cause of sesamoiditis is consistent pressure and tension applied over the foot. It is common in people who participate in potentially high intensity sports (runners) or jarring (jogging or boxing) activities.

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

People suffering with sesamoiditis may experience a sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of the foot. The pain usually worsens during standing, walking, running or when the affected foot is flexed. Some people may experience numbness or a tingling sensation in their toes while others may notice slight changes in the shape of the feet or toes.

Diagnosis of Sesamoiditis

Dr Maor will diagnose you based on your symptoms and a thorough foot examination. He may order an X-ray or MRI of the affected foot to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment Options for Sesamoiditis

Early treatment is critical to relieve pain. Mild to moderate cases of sesamoiditis can be managed by conservative treatment. The following conservative measures help to ease the pain of sesamoiditis:

  • Medications: Your doctor may prescribe pain medications to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Resting your feet and applying ice packs wrapped in a towel over the tip of the affected foot can reduce pain and swelling.
  • Adaptation to a weight loss dietary regimen, if you are overweight.
  • Activity modification: Avoid vigorous activities that exert excessive stress on bones and tendons of the feet. Begin specific exercises to help strengthen the foot muscles.
  • Use customized orthotics or insoles to support and protect the foot.
  • Toe pads, softening or gel pads can be placed inside your shoes to help cushion the shock while walking. Simple footwear modifications include using low-heeled shoes and broad toe box shoes with silicone gel pads to minimize discomfort at the tip of the toes.
  • Immobilization using a cast, splint, brace, walking boot, or any other device to prevent movement of the feet and assist in faster healing of the affected toe.

Surgery is considered as the last option if the symptoms fail to resolve with conservative treatment and depends on the age and activity level of the individual, extent of damage to the tendon or bone or nerve, and other factors.

Surgical treatment involves realigning or reshaping the sesamoid bones.