Sesamoiditis treatment: Is surgery an option?

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Sesamoiditis treatment: Is surgery an option?

Question

What is the treatment for sesamoiditis? Is surgery an option?

Julie
Minnesota

Answer

Sesamoiditis is an inflammation of the small accessory bones (sesamoids) located on the underside of the foot near the big toe. Surgery for sesamoiditis is an option but usually unnecessary. However, if conservative treatment options aren't effective, removal of the sesamoid bone may be considered.

Standard treatment of sesamoiditis may include:

  • Rest. Stop activities that cause pain and switch to low-impact cross-training exercises.
  • Ice. Apply ice under the big toe to relieve pain.
  • Arch supports. Wear arch supports or metatarsal pads to take pressure off the sesamoid bones.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve pain and fight inflammation.
  • Corticosteroid injections. Your doctor may recommend injections to reduce swelling.
  • Walking boot or crutches

Sesamoid bones of the foot

Illustration of sesamoid bones of the foot

Most bones in the body are connected to each other at joints. But sesamoid bones are connected to tendons or embedded in muscle. The foot has two very small sesamoids on the underside of the front of the foot near the big toe.

Last Updated: 12/26/2006
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