The bottoms of your feet take a lot of stress every day as you walk and exercise. In fact, almost one-and-a-half times your weight hits your soles with each step.
The part of your foot called the ball, at the base of the big toe, takes a lot of this pressure. Underneath the bone located behind the big toe joint are special bones called the sesamoids. These tiny bones are called sesamoids because they are small and similar in shape to sesame seeds. Unlike most of the bones in your body, the sesamoids are embedded in the tendon.
These tiny bones are important to how the big toe functions. They act like a kneecap to keep tendons from rubbing on the bones and provide important leverage for the big toe as it pushes off during each step. The sesamoids also reduce friction and protect the tendons.
When the sesamoids become inflamed due to overwork or repeated trauma from wearing high heels or shoes that are poorly-fitted, sesamoiditis is the result. You will feel pain and see swelling and bruising under the ball of the foot. The toe itself may be stiff and hard to bend.
Once we confirm our diagnosis with an X-ray or other imaging studies, we will begin conservative treatments such as:
If these non-invasive treatments don’t alleviate your pain, we will discuss surgery which may be needed to remove the fractured sesamoid. We will attempt to leave one of the sesamoids in place or the big toe may not line up properly.
For any type of foot or ankle pain, call us. Foot pain is not normal! If you have pain from bunions or any other foot or ankle condition or have suffered any type of foot injury, please call Dr. Christopher M. Funk, Dr. Bradley A. Whitaker or Dr. Peter C. Merrill at Desert Podiatric Medical Specialists. Our professional staff offers expert podiatry services at three Pima County offices: Tucson, Oro Valley and Green Valley. Please call us today at (520) 575-0800 to schedule your appointment.