Sesamoids are the bones throughout the human body that are only connected to tendons or muscles. These small bones act as pulleys, providing a smooth surface for tendons to slide over, enabling ease of muscle movement. Sesamoids in the foot act as building blocks, holding up the bones of the big toe. When the tendons surrounding sesamoids become inflamed or irritated, sesamoiditis results. Sufferers of sesamoiditis complain of pain in the big toe or ball of the foot, swelling and/or loss of mobility in the big toe.
If sesamoiditis makes walking severely uncomfortable, a removable brace can be worn to reduce pain. Taping the big toe in a slightly downward position can also take stress off the affected sesamoid.
If stopping activity and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories fail to ease the pain of sesamoiditis Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine may recommend a cortisone injection. Cortisone is used to decrease inflammation and reduce pain.
Surgery for sesamoiditis is performed after other options have been expended. If necessary, the sesamoid can be removed completely to eliminate symptoms. Typically, Genesis Orthopedics & Sports Medicine will only remove the affected portion of the sesamoid.