Sesamoiditis is a painful inflammation of the sesamoid apparatus located in the forefoot. This condition often affects people who are physically active. It can present with edema of the entire plantar aspect of the foot. The sesamoids function to absorb high impact forces during movement. The great toe or hallux has two round shaped bones called sesamoids that are embedded within the tendon of the flexor hallucis brevis which allows for initiating of walking by permitting plantar-flexion and dorsi-flexion of the foot.
Sesamoiditis is most likely to occur in women who wear high heels frequently as that keeps the toe joint in such an extreme position constantly. People who do activities that repeatedly flex their toes are also at risk, such as runners and dancers. See the kind of beating Broadway dancers put on their feet–in high heels. Eight shows a week. That’s a lot of rolling and pounding on that little bitty sesamoid bone. Age also can cause sesamoiditis, as the padding under our feet thins, and bones become more fragile.
The etiology of sesamoiditis is caused by excessive repetitive tension and pressure exerted upon the forefoot at the level of the first metatarsophalangeal joint . The pain usually is an acute insidious aching type of pain and may develop into a chronic intense throbbing type of pain if the condition is not treated properly by a podiatric physician. Some options for treatment of sesamoiditis include antinflammatory oral and topical medication, rest, ice, injection therapy as well as functional orthotics.
If you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot, please make an appointment with your local podiatrist at American Foot and Leg Specialists, PC.