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Sesamoiditis

Your feet do a lot of work, and it’s no wonder they sometimes get worn out. But certain parts of the feet are especially delicate and can become chronically inflamed. At Knoxville Footcare, our expert podiatrists assist patients struggling with mechanical problems in their feet, allowing them to regain their mobility and performance. Sesamoiditis, the inflammation of the foot’s free floating bones, is especially prominent among certain athletes, but can usually be treated with minimal intervention.


A sesamoid bone is one which is anchored in place by tendons instead of being directly attached to other bones. The largest ones are the kneecaps, but there are also two in the inside of the ball of the foot, supporting the bones that lead to the big toe. Sesamoids function like pulleys, allowing the ball of the foot to move more efficiently when a person rises up to push their foot off the ground. In people who put a lot of pressure on the balls of their feet, such as dancers and sprinters, the tendons securing the sesamoids can easily become overused and the bones themselves can fracture.


Sesamoiditis can usually be treated with lifestyle modifications and anti-inflammatory injections. People who experience swelling should avoid wearing high heels or shoes that otherwise compress the toes, and may want to put padding inside their shoes. After taking an x-ray and performing mobility tests, our podiatrists may decide that some patients’ toes should be temporarily immobilized with a splint. Athletes should remember the importance of maintaining a diverse set of workouts and may want to incorporate exercises that don’t impact their feet, such as bicycling. Surgery may be necessary in severe cases, but podiatrists try to avoid removing both foot sesamoids to allow the foot to retain some of its pulley system.


Knoxville Footcare is located at 1932 Alcoa Highway Building C, Suite 480, Knoxville, Tennessee, 37920. Visit us at Knoxville Footcare or call 865-632-5700.

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