Sesamoid Pain

What is Sesamoid Pain?

Sesamoid pain is a discomfort that manifests beneath the joint of the big toe, commonly arising from excessive use.

This condition involves the persistent inflammation of the sesamoid bones—two tiny, pebble-like bones integrated within the joint—and the tendons associated with them. It leads to a persistent, dull ache under the big toe joint, characterizing the typical symptoms of this overuse injury.

The feet of a man suffering from gout
What Causes Sesamoid Pain?

The root cause of sesamoid pain is the heightened pressure exerted on the sesamoids, commonly linked with physical activities that place added stress on the ball of the foot.

Individuals who have high foot arches or those who regularly wear high heels are at a greater risk of experiencing this discomfort. These factors contribute to the undue strain on the sesamoid bones, leading to the pain associated with this condition.

What are the Treatment Options for Sesamoid Pain?

Treatment options for sesamoid pain include both non-surgical and surgical approaches:

Non-Surgical Treatment:

  • Diagnosis involves a thorough examination of the foot, focusing on the big toe joint.
  • Conservative treatments may include padding, strapping, or taping the affected area to relieve tension.
  • Custom orthotic devices can provide long-term relief by balancing pressure on the ball of the foot.
  • Cortisone injections may be used to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Other conservative measures such as rest, massage, gait analysis, painkillers, ice packing, and appropriate footwear are recommended.

Surgical Treatment:

  • Surgery may be considered if conservative treatments fail to provide relief.
  • Surgical options may involve thinning down or removing the painful sesamoid bone, although this is uncommon.

Mr Barlow-Kearsley can provide personalized treatment recommendations based on individual needs and circumstances.