What is Sesamoid Pain?


For many of you the working year is getting back into full swing and you probably spent a few hot days over the festive season at the beach or local pool in thongs or even barefoot. For the social butterfly’s amongst you it’s time for champagne and high heels as summer finally arrives. With these activities and minimal protection from suitable footwear there is a fair chance you are putting excess stress through your forefoot and the ball of your foot can scream out with pain!

How does it Feel?

Initially it may only feel like a sharp pain when wearing specific shoes (heels, thongs, ballet flats) or when playing a specific sport (tennis, basketball) and then goes away. As the pain increases it may become more constant during weight bearing activity and also when resting. There may be swelling, redness and pain around the whole big toe area. You may feel you need to walk on the outside of your foot to help relieve the pain.

What is it?

Sesamoids are 2 small isolated bones that lie under the big toe joint in your foot. If these bones, which lie just below the surface of the skin, get too much stress through them they start to hurt.  Pain usually occurs through these bones when you’re on your feet, also with forced bending of your big toe joint or poking the area.

How do they get injured?

Pain and injury occurs when one or both sesamoids are subject to repetitive stress. This can occur from sports involving increased movement of the big toe joint i.e. basketball, sprinting, ballet, dancing, football. The injury can be to the surrounding tendon (tendonitis), acute fracture of the bones, stress fractures or bursitis of the joint.

It can be a result of different foot abnormalities/alignment which increases stress through this area. Footwear, biomechanics, activity modification and rest all need to be addressed to treat this injury.

If you’re having to hop back into work because the ball of your foot is sore, then get in and see the Podiatrist asap. These injuries can be slow to heal and extremely painful if not treated correctly.

Come and see our Podiatrist Ben Holland at Glenferrie Sports and Spinal Clinic in Hawthorn. Call us on 9815 2555 for an appointment.

Posted by Matt
On 13 Jan 2017


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