A sesamoid is a bone that is embedded in a tendon instead of being connected to other bones with joints. In the foot, the sesamoids are two pea-shaped bones located beneath the big toe joint. Some of the most common sesamoid injuries include over-extended big toe (turf toe), fracture from overuse or injury, and sesamoiditis – chronic inflammation to the sesamoids and the tendons around them.
Symptoms of sesamoid injuries include pain in the ball of the foot, particularly in the area of the big toe, increased difficulty standing or walking, and pain when walking barefoot, wearing thin-sole shoes or high heels.
People with high arches are also at increased risk from sesamoid injuries because of the additional pressure placed on the front pad of the foot.
Exercises that involve running or jumping can cause an injury to the sesamoids. High heeled shoes place additional pressure on the sesamoids and can lead to a stress fracture or sesamoiditis.
If the problem is chronic, treatment may include stopping the activity that causes the pain and trying to avoid any activity that puts weight on the balls of the feet. Anti-inflammatory medicines may help alleviate the pain. Wearing soft-soled shoes to cushion the ball of the foot if possible may reduce sesamoid caused pain. For moderate to severe cases, a steroid injection may help.
Treatment options for more severe sesamoid injuries or fractures include weight-relieving orthotics, shoe padding, foot bracing, and in the most severe cases, surgery.
The Concierge Podiatry Advantage
At Concierge Podiatry we specialize in incorporating accommodative pads within custom orthotics to reduce the stress that causes sesamoid pain. Laser therapy can often be an effective alternative to steroid injections or anti-inflammatory oral medication. We always take the time needed to explain all options before beginning any course of treatment.
- Contact Concierge Podiatry for an appointment
- Learn more about treatment options often used to treat this issue