What is Sesamoiditis?

You might not even know it, but your big toe contains two unique structures that are made of small pieces of bone surrounded by a tendon. They make it easier for us to use our feet for activities that involve a pushing off motion, like running or climbing, by creating smooth movements in the big toe. These structures are called sesamoids.

David Savard Falls to Sesamoiditis - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

David Savard, is a defense specialist for the Columbus Blue jackets’ ice hockey team. The player later underwent surgery because of a piece of bone found floating in his foot. Reports later confirmed that he suffered from Sesamoiditis, an injury that affects the plantar foot.

Sesamoids are bones connected to the tendons or embedded in muscles. Sesamoids assist in activities such as weight bearing. Like any bones, sesamoids can break, irritated or inflamed. This type of injury is common among ballet dancers, runners, and professional athletes. Consult a podiatrist for any signs of foot pain. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering with foot pain and other types of foot conditions.

What are the causes of sesamoiditis?

Sesamoiditis is usually caused by repetitive and excessive pressure on the foot. The surrounding tissue become irritated and inflamed. Any activity that places constant force on the ball of the foot can cause sesamoiditis. Stress fractures may also result in sesamoiditis. Persons with bony feet in particular are prone to this type of injury.

Symptoms of sesamoiditis

The symptoms of sesamoiditis manifest gradually and increases in intensity over time.

  • Tenderness upon pressure
  • Pain during barefoot walking especially on the ball of the foot
  • Pain disappears when resting
  • Bruising and swelling of the big toe area
  • Limited movement of the big toe
  • Pain upon any activity like running or jumping
  • Difficulty and pain when bending and straightening the big toe

Can sesamoiditis be treated?

Sesamoiditis can be treated with home remedies. The following are recommended conservative treatments for sesamoiditis but always check with your podiatrist first.

  • The person should stop the activity that is causing the pain
  • Take over the counter drug to relieve the pain
  • Rest and apply ice on the sole of the feet every 2 to 3 hours for about 15 minutes
  • Wear low-heeled soft-sole shoes and avoid wearing stiff-soled shoes
  • To relieve stress, use a felt cushioning pad
  • Return to the activity slowly but keep on wearing a cushioning pad to provide support
  • Tape the big toe in a slightly downward position
  • To reduce inflammation and swelling, your doctor may recommend an injection of steroid
  • If symptoms continue, wear a removable fracture brace for 4 to 6 weeks
  • Recovery time for sesamoiditis usually take a few weeks for complete healing to occur.

How to prevent sesamoiditis

  • Avoid walking in barefoot
  • Use a cushioned and supportive footwear
  • Stretching is also beneficial in preventing sesamoiditis
  • Avoid repeated jarring to the feet
  • Always follow safety rules in any sport and wear protective equipment 

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people suffering from foot problems. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114