Sesamoiditis: Small Bones – Big Problems
The smallest things can sometimes have a large effect. Think of a tiny drop hitting a smooth surface of water, for instance. There are two tiny bones in your foot called sesamoids that act like pulleys to help the tendons move smoothly. All of the movements involving your big toe depend on them, and if they hurt, the consequences can ripple out and affect your entire foot – not to mention your lifestyle.
Sesamoiditis Usually Comes on Gradually
There are two types of conditions that commonly occur with the sesamoid bones: fracture or inflammation. You will probably know right away if you’ve broken the bones, because the pain will be immediate. The other condition happens over time as repeated stress irritates the tissues around the bones so they become inflamed. Dancers, baseball catchers, and runners (especially those with high arches who land on the balls of their feet) are more at risk of developing sesamoiditis because of the constant trauma these small bones absorb. The pain will be centered under the ball of the foot near the big toe, and may make it hard to bend the toe up and down. That small pain may not seem like a big deal until you realize you aren’t doing many of your normal activities because it hurts too much.
How to Treat This Foot Pain
The first step is to have your foot pain diagnosed. Many conditions can cause foot pain, and knowing which one you have is important for choosing the correct treatment. The specialists at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates will examine your foot, including manipulation of the toe and using X-rays or bone scans to determine the exact damage. If it is sesamoiditis rather than a fracture, remedies are usually conservative and noninvasive.
We will recommend that you stop whatever activity is causing the problem until the condition heals. We may recommend a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication. Using an ice pack on the bottom of your sole may reduce swelling and pain. Soft-soled, cushioned shoes with low heels can help relieve the pressure on the bones that is causing the problem. We can also show you how to apply felt pads to distribute the pressure away from the bones. If the pain persists, we may recommend taping the toe to reduce stress on the bones or fit you for a short leg brace that you would wear for 4 – 6 weeks.
After you have rested the foot and the pain and inflammation have subsided, return to normal activities gradually. Avoid putting a lot of weight on the balls of your feet until they are fully healed.
We are Here to Help
Dr. Hal Abrahamson and Dr. Daniel E. Orozco have over 40 years of combined foot care know how and are experts at diagnosing your pain and helping you back to great foot health. Don’t wait until that tiny discomfort becomes a big problem that limits your activity. Call our Rego Park office at (718) 896-4433, the Plainview office at (516) 822-9595, and the Flushing office at (718) 969-2266, or ask for an appointment on our website. We want your feet to be pain free!