Sesamoids are bones that have tendons that connect them to muscles. They differ from other bones in our body, connected at joints. Sesamoiditis occurs when the tendons connected to sesamoids become inflamed.
The kneecap is the largest sesamoid in your body. Sesamoiditis usually refers to the inflammation of the tendons in the foot. It is common in some sportspeople and ballet dancers. The condition is typically caused by straining or overworking the tendons. It is a treatable condition, and anti-inflammatory medications are often adequate to treat sesamoiditis. Activities that frequently transfer weight to the ball of the foot are the main reason for inflammation.
Causes for Sesamoiditis
Sesamoiditis is typically caused by the tendons that connect the small bones in the front of the foot. The tendons can also become inflamed if subjected to repeated trauma, such as wearing high heels or shoes that do not fit properly.
Some activities like running, basketball, and ballet put you at a higher risk of sesamoiditis.
Symptoms of Sesamoiditis
- The most common symptom includes severe pain under the great toe on the ball of the foot.
- Swelling may or may not be prevalent.
- You may experience pain bending and straightening the great toe.
How is it diagnosed?
The diagnosis for sesamoiditis starts from the physical examination of your foot. Doctors usually move the toe in different directions and check the tenderness around the ball of the foot. The pain level and the limits on your toes flexibility helps the doctor diagnose your condition.
Doctors often suggest an X-ray of your foot if they suspect sesamoiditis. In some cases, a bone scan might also be necessary to make a diagnosis. Your doctor might also suggest an ultrasound or MRI to take a closer look at the injured tendons.
The treatments do not need to be necessarily surgical and complicated processes that involve other inventions. Most treatment plans for sesamoiditis include lifestyle changes and steps for pain relief-
1. Lifestyle changes- The first step towards a cure is stopping any activity causing sesamoiditis. It is essential to avoid activities that put extra stress on your foot. Wearing high heels often pressurizes the sesamoids, so it is always advised to avoid them.
2. Medication and orthotics- Taking ibuprofen or aspirin can also help to reduce the pain. Cortisone injections reduce swelling to a great extent.
Orthotics, such as padded insoles for your shoes may also be beneficial.
3. Surgery- If the other methods are not beneficial, surgical removal of the sesamoid
bone may be necessary. However, it is best to remove only one of the two sesamoids. Removing both of them can have a detrimental effect on your toe.
Call us today for a consultation. Our very own specialist, Dr Anuj Chawla is at your service to assist you.