What is Sesamoiditis?

Sesamoiditis is a common ailment that affects the forefoot, typically in young people who engage in physical activity like running or dancing. Its most common symptom is pain in the ball-of-the-foot, especially on the medial or inner side. The term is a general description for any irritation of the sesamoid bones, which are tiny bones within the tendons that run to the big toe. Like the kneecap, the sesamoids function as a pulley, increasing the leverage of the tendons controlling the toe. Every time you push off against the toe the sesamoids are involved, and eventually they can become irritated, even fractured. Because the bones are actually within the tendons, sesamoiditis is really a kind of tendinitis – the tendons around the bones become inflamed as well.


What are the symptoms of Sesamoiditis?

Signs and symptoms of Sesamoiditis may include:

  • Pain is focused under the great toe on the ball of the foot. With sesamoiditis, pain may develop gradually; with a fracture, pain will be immediate.
  • Swelling and bruising may or may not be present.
  • You may experience difficulty and pain in bending and straightening the great toe.

What are the causes of Sesamoiditis?

The causes of Sesamoiditis may include of the following:

  • Repetitive, Excessive pressure on the forefoot.
  • Stress Fracture due to overuse injury
  • Common problem among ballet dancers and people who play the position catcher in baseball.
  • Any activity that places constant force on the ball of the foot – even walking
  • High heels are often a contributing factor because they stretch the flexor tendon and place the sesamoids in a more vulnerable and weight bearing position under the foot

How is Sesamoiditis diagnosed?

  • Physical Examination: Dr Kevin Yip will perform an examination to determine whether or not there is tenderness along the sesamoid bones. He may also slightly manipulate the bone and have you straighten and bend the toe. Dr. Kevin Yip will gently bend the toe toward the foot to assess the point and intensity of discomfort.
  • X-ray: X-ray of may be recommended by Dr Kevin Yip to ensure proper diagnosis.

What are the treatment for Sesamoiditis?

The treatment for Sesamoiditis may include:

  • Oral Medications: Pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication
  • Anti-inflammatory Injection: Cortisone injections can aid in the reduction of pain and inflammation.
  • Immobilization and nonweightbearing: A cast or cast-like walking boot may be applied. Crutches may also be recommended to help keep weight off the foot.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy, including range-of-motion exercises, strengthening, and conditioning, as well as ultrasound therapy may follow immobilization.
  • Orthopedic Accessory: Heel Gel
  • Surgery: Surgery is generally a last resort, reserved for severe sesamoid injuries that do not respond to the more conservative treatments.

NOTE: Dr. Kevin Yip will evaluate your condition and discuss these options with you and together you will determine a plan that will suite you best. Call now (65) 64762106 or fill out our Consultation request form for an appointment.


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