Sesamoid injuries typically affect your big toe joint, causing pain, swelling, and mobility problems. At Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers with multiple locations in Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, and Mount Clemens, Michigan, the expert podiatrists diagnose and treat sesamoid injuries to get you back to your regular activities quickly and safely. Call Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers or schedule a consultation online today for expert podiatry care.

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What is a sesamoid?

Sesamoids are bones that are embedded in a tendon. They’re found throughout your body, but the two pea-shaped bones in the joint of your big toe are vulnerable to many injuries. The sesamoid bones in your foot act like pulleys that help your big toe flex and extend when you walk or run. They also provide a weight-bearing surface for your first metatarsal bone, absorbing the weight and shock produced when you move.

What are common sesamoid injuries?

Sesamoid injuries affect your bones, tendons, or the other tissues that surround your big toe joint. In many cases, sesamoid injuries are due to the repetitive stress created by activities like running, playing sports like football or basketball, or practicing ballet. Your risk of sesamoid injuries is higher if you have high arches or wear high heels frequently.

Common sesamoid injuries include:

  • Sesamoiditis
  • Fractures
  • Turf toe

Sesamoiditis is a common injury that occurs when the sesamoid tendons and bones are inflamed from chronic overuse. Turf toe occurs when your big toe joint is overextended. You can also develop acute or chronic fractures from traumatic injuries or repetitive stress.

What are the signs of a sesamoid injury?

Pain and swelling in your big toe joint are the common signs of sesamoid injuries. Depending on your injury, your pain might develop suddenly and be sharp, or it could develop slowly and be a dull ache. Additionally, your pain could be constant or intermittent. You might hear or feel a pop if you develop turf toe or fracture one of your sesamoid bones.

What exams diagnose sesamoid injuries?

The expert podiatrists at Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers provide comprehensive exams to identify sesamoid injuries. After carefully examining your foot for signs of swelling and injury, your podiatrist moves your big toe up and down and presses on the big toe joint. They ask you to walk around the office so they can assess your walking gait and check your shoes for wear patterns. They might order X-rays to confirm a fracture.

Can I treat my sesamoid injuries without surgery?

In most cases, the podiatrists treat sesamoid injuries without surgery. Depending on your needs, your treatment plan might include:

  • Strapping or taping your toes
  • Padding your toe
  • Oral anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthotic devices

If you’re concerned about big toe pain, call Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers or make an appointment online today.