Sesamoiditis

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Image Credit: The Foot Group

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.”- Thomas Jefferson

What is sesamoiditis?

In the human body, there is a special family of bones called sesamoids, that are unique in their connection to the rest of our skeleton. Sesamoid bones, are connected to muscles via a tendon connection. The two areas of the body where sesamoid bones are found are in the knees, and in the feet. The majority of the bones in the body, are connected via joints.

In the feet, are two small sesamoid bones, which are in the soft padded area, close to your big toe. These bones can become inflamed, once aggravated. When this takes place, the condition that develops is known as sesamoiditis. Based on the location of the injury, statistically athletes and dancers are prone to develop this condition.

This is due to the fact that athleticism requires use of the feet, causing vigorous vertical stress during jumping. With the excessive activity, the area of the feet are overworked, and the sesamoids ultimately become aggravated.

Diagnosis of sesamoiditis

Consult with your foot and ankle specialist if you feel that you may have sesamoiditis. Any prolonged pain in the feet, should be examined by your orthopaedic specialist, just to ensure that you are treated for the right condition. The examination will be very thorough, and your orthopaedic surgeon will look for the signs of tenderness in the region around the sesamoid bones as an indicator of the condition.

Many foot and ankle ailments have similar symptoms, so ensure that the right diagnosis is determined. Via X-rays and other scanning mechanisms, you will be able to determine the root cause of your pain, and then ultimately treat it.

Treatment of sesamoiditis

As an inflammation of the sesamoid bones, what you’ll need to heal is to simply reverse the conditions that induced the condition. Your doctor will prescribe for you rest. In terms of treatments, you can take pain-killers and anti-inflammatories (Aspirin or Ibuprofen work well ) to ensure that the inflammation is reduced.

The sesamoids are very critical to the function of your feet, and they provide pulley mechanisms that permit your tendons to smoothly glide over as you are walking. Take good care, if you feel pain in the area. If you’re an athlete, if you aggravate the area, you ultimately lead to a fracture, so ensure that you attend to the pain early. Additionally ice treatments help to soothe the area and reduce inflammation. When wearing shoes, ensure that they are comfortable, and have the appropriate cushioning.

Sesamoiditis, is easily treatable so ensure that you facilitate your healing. Dancers and baseball players are particularly prone, so if you find yourself in this category, wear protective insoles to ensure that you protect your soles.

Reference Articles:

  1. Sesamoiditis: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/sesamoiditis

  2. Sesamoiditis on Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/sesamoiditis

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