Sesamoid bones are unique in the fact that they are not directly connected to another bone. The kneecap is the largest sesamoid bone and there are two small ones in the ball of each foot. These two pea-sized bones help tendons move and they absorb weight and pressure from your full weight. They can become overly-stressed and injured, causing severe pain and discomfort in a condition called sesamoiditis.
Symptoms of sesamoiditis may include the following:
- Pain in the ball area of the foot near the big toe
- Severe pain and discomfort when trying to bend or straighten the big toe
- Swelling and bruising may be noticeable
- An increase in pain when you move your big toe upward
- Sesamoiditis develops slowly over time, so if you have rapid onset of pain in the ball of the foot, it may be due to a fracture
Treatment for sesamoiditis:
- Rest and ice the ball of the foot area
- Ibuprofen can reduce pain and swelling
- Switch to soft-soled shoes
- Use cushioning pads
- Taping the big toe to the one next to it will limit movement
- A steroid injection can reduce swelling
- Orthotic inserts can isolate and insulate the injured sesamoid bones
- A special brace may be needed for 4 to 6 weeks
- In severe cases, surgical removal of a damaged sesamoid bone may be required
If you have pain in the ball of your foot, see your foot doctor to determine the cause. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX, is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health.
Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.