How is sesamoiditis treated?

    Auteur: Podiatre Montreal

    Foot pain can have many origins, in fact there are multiple pathologies affecting the feet that can lead to more or less intense pain. Among these we can obviously mention the fracture of the foot, hallux valgus or generally less known sesamoiditis. Sesamoiditis is a rather common condition that causes bone pain and is related to the sesamoid bones of the foot, with sesamoids of the big toe being the most common. Fortunately, sesamoiditis has treatment options to limit the impact on daily life.

    For this purpose, it is necessary to consult a specialist who will be able to evaluate the pathology, establish a diagnosis and propose an appropriate treatment in order to reduce the effects of sesamoiditis, particularly pain.

    What is sesamoiditis?

    Sesamoiditis is a condition involving the sesamoid bones. These are small bones located under the head of the 1st metatarsal. There are two sesamoid bones: the tibial sesamoid, which is the medial bone, and the fibular sesamoid, which is the lateral bone. These two bones can be at the origin of a sesamoid and are connected to the muscles by tendons. Sesamoiditis will manifest itself during tendon inflammation or during a fracture which itself can also result in inflamed tendons. This pathology can thus be due to a fracture, thus a rather brutal trauma or the result of extreme effort, but also to a change in the position of the sesamoids such as a deviation of the big toe.

    Regardless of the cause of sesamoiditis, it can have various expressions, so it is possible to see pain under the base of the foot, but also swelling in the patella and the location of the sesamoids involved or bruising. In case of inflammation and not fracture, the pain may be progressive and develop over time to the point that it becomes painful at an intense level with consequences on daily life, especially for sportsmen and women. Finally, sesamoiditis can affect only one bone, one foot or it can be a bipartite sesamoiditis.

    Causes and Complications of Sesamoiditis

    Sesamoiditis can have various origins, it can indeed appear following a brutal effort leading to an inflammation or a fracture, but can also be linked to the practice of certain activities. Indeed, certain sports can largely contribute to its appearance. Thus, running is often blamed for the development of sesamoiditis, but other high-risk activities can also be the cause, such as dancing, which puts particular strain on the foot and toes.

    Certain elements of daily life can also be involved, such as the excessive use of high heels. The latter are in fact unsuitable shoes that can lead to a change in the balance of the foot and a change in the position of the foot. People suffering from bunions or hallux valgus can also see the bones of their feet move slightly, which can lead to the appearance of sesamoiditis.

    The consequences of this pathology are mostly more or less intense pain that can lead to difficulties in walking or practicing one’s favorite sport, but also swelling and puffiness making it difficult to wear certain shoes. Finally, people with particularly arched feet are also prone to the development of this very unpleasant, although not very dangerous, pathology. There are many reasons to develop this pathology, both congenital and environmental, but it should be taken seriously because of the pain it can cause.

    In order to diagnose and treat it as well as possible, do not hesitate to make an appointment in our clinic to consult one of our specialists who will be able to identify it and treat it as well as possible in order to reduce its impact.

    When to consult a Podiatrist?

    Sesamoiditis can cause intense pain due to inflammation of the tendons and the area where the affected bones are located. It can also cause swelling of the joints, bruising and localized tenderness. Regardless of the symptoms noticed by the Patient, it is preferable to quickly consult a foot specialist such as the Podiatrist in order to evaluate the situation and diagnose the pathology at the origin of these often painful signs.

    In order to establish the diagnosis, the qualified health care professional will conduct a thorough clinical examination including a precise anamnesis in order to know the sports practiced, the type of shoes worn, etc. This anamnesis will help identify the environmental causes that may be at the origin of the appearance of sesamoiditis. In addition, the examination will include careful observation of the affected part of the body to analyze the location of the bones and detect inflammation and possible swelling.

    In addition, the Podiatrist will palpate the sesamoid bones, especially if fractures are suspected. It is also possible that he may ask for a scan or even a bone scan in order to better define the problem and facilitate a precise diagnosis. The latter is indeed essential in order to establish the appropriate treatment plan according to the situation. Sesamoiditis can be treated by exercises indicated by the specialist, but also by stopping the wearing of inappropriate footwear. This option is often a preferred solution given the impact on the feet of an unsuitable shoe. The Podiatrist will also be able to prescribe new shoes more adapted to each person’s situation. Finally, he will be able to prescribe orthotics, which are very often particularly effective in reducing pressure on the feet and thus relieving sesamoiditis.

    Thus, there are multiple alternatives to reduce the load and pressure on the foot and on the small sesamoid bones that can cause sesamoiditis and its more or less severe pain.


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      Podiatre Montréal
      1826 Sherbrooke O,
      Montreal, QC H3H 1E4