Sesamoid bones are free-floating bones that have no direct connection to other bones. The largest one is the kneecap, but there are also two tiny sesamoid bones in the ball of each of your feet. When the tendons and other tissues around these bones becomes irritated, severe pain and swelling can be the result in a condition called sesamoiditis.
Although the sesamoid bones are small they absorb a huge amount of stress and pressure during work and exercise. People who engage in high stress activities like playing tennis, football, etc… put excess pressure on their sesamoid bones and are more likely to experience other problems in the ball of the foot as well, including neuroma and capsulitis.
One of the telltale signs of sesamoiditis is having severe pain when trying to bend your big toe and a corresponding swelling in the ball of the foot.
Treatments for sesamoiditis are generally noninvasive and involve the following:
- Resting, icing, and elevation to reduce swelling
- Take ibuprofen or Tylenol to reduce pain
- Wearing shoes with a low heel cup and softer soles reduces the pressure on the sesamoid bones so they can heal.
- Steroid medications may also reduce pain and swelling
- A specially made brace may be required
- The most problematic cases surgery may be required.
If you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot, see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. At Family Foot & Ankle Clinic, Dr. Stephen Markantone treats a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions including sports injuries, diabetic foot issues, pediatric foot conditions, toe and foot deformities, fungal infections, and heel problems. Equipped with the most advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Family Foot & Ankle Clinic provides individualized and high quality care for patients in the North Versailles and Delmont, PA areas. Contact our North Versailles office at 412-824-9370 or our Delmont office at 724-733-3338 to schedule an appointment.