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If you are experiencing pain in your big toe and the ball of your foot, it might be sesamoiditis. What is sesamoiditis? It is a condition where the sesamoid bones near your big toe have become inflamed. The sesamoid bones are not connected to the other bones by a joint, but are connected to the tendons only. Sesamoiditis is an overuse injury that usually affects younger, more active people. Dancing or running can cause it. Athletes also can experience sesamoid pain, especially if you have changed up or increased your activity level suddenly.

The swelling of the sesamoid bones can be very painful. Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and can include pain relief, rest, and icing the bottom of the foot. A change in athletic footwear might be necessary and a slow return to activity is advised. If you think you might have this condition, don’t delay treatment as it could worsen with time or lead to other serious foot problems. Our White City podiatrists, or our podiatrists at other South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers locations, will provide a diagnosis and discuss a comprehensive treatment plan for sesamoiditis with you. Call 561-793-6170 to schedule an appointment today or request an appointment online.

What is Sesamoiditis?

The sesamoids are two small bones near your big toe. They are different that other bones because they are connected to ligaments instead of joints. Sesamoiditis is an overuse injury that results in swelling and sesamoid pain. Since the sesamoids are located in the tendons and the tendons can also become swollen, it is a form of tendinitis. This condition is usually seen in young, active individuals and usually patients report recently increasing or changing their level of activity. Running, jumping, and other activities that require you to push off and add pressure to the balls of your feet can cause sesamoiditis, which presents as pain in the big toe and ball of the foot.

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

One of the symptoms of sesamoiditis that sets it apart from other foot injuries is a slow, gradual onset of pain that gets worse with activity. The pain can gradually increase to an intense throbbing if activity is not halted. There is usually not usually any noticeable redness or bruising. Patients describe a variety of different types of pain, anywhere from a dull ache when standing, to an intense, throbbing pain. The symptoms usually get better when you stop activity and rest.

Treatments for Sesamoiditis

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive. It requires rest and icing the affected area. Pain medications might be prescribed depending on the level of pain you are experiencing. If swelling and pain persist after rest and icing, then anti-inflammatory corticosteroids might be prescribed as well. Our podiatrists would also evaluate your athletic shoes and might recommend different shoes, padding, or orthotics to help cushion your sesamoids and prevent the injury from reoccurring. Sesamoid treatment for runners and other athletes also includes a slow return to activity. Starting out gradually and then increasing the level is always recommended.

Diagnosing Sesamoiditis

What should you expect when visiting the South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers for sesamoiditis? There can be a bit of apprehension when visiting a podiatrist in order to find out what is causing your foot pain or discomfort. The South Florida Foot and Ankle Centers doctors’ first priority is to address your area of concern and make you feel comfortable. All of our doctors have specialized training and have a great deal of clinical experience so they are able to give you all of the information that you need to help you make an informed decision, understand the options, and be a part of the treatment plan. Our podiatrists diagnose sesamoiditis after a physical examination and talking to you about your family and medical history and listing your daily activities including work and sports. An x-ray or other imaging scans might be taken if your doctor needs to see the condition of the tendons, muscles, and bones underneath the skin. This can also rule out a more serious injury like a fracture. You should be prepared to discuss the level of pain, when pain occurs, and how long you have been experiencing the pain.


The podiatrists at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers have extensive training and clinical experience when it comes to evaluating, diagnosing patients and providing treatment for sesamoiditis. We understand that you do not like being sidelined from your favorite sports and activities and we will get you back on your feet. Our doctors will concentrate on relieving pain and discomfort and getting you back to health. We pride ourselves on providing a good experience during your office visits where you are involved in our plan of care.

Do these symptoms sound familiar? Contact South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers today for a comprehensive examination and treatment for sesamoiditis. Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in White City or at any one of our six locations throughout Palm Beach. Call 561-793-6170 to speak with a staff member.

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