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Under the main joint of your big toe are two pea-sized bones called sesamoids (say "SEH-suh-moyds"). They work with other bones, muscles, and tendons to help your toe and foot work correctly.
Sometimes the force from walking, running, or jumping causes these bones to break. Or the tendons around these bones may get irritated and inflamed over time. When the tendons get inflamed, it's called sesamoiditis (say "SEH-suh-moy-DY-tis").
A sesamoid injury is usually treated with proper shoes or with shoe inserts. Some people need to have their toe joint taped, or they need to wear a walking cast for a few weeks. The tape or cast keeps the joint from moving while it heals. Your doctor may give you a shot of steroid medicine in the foot to relieve pain and inflammation.
Some people will need to wear a hard cast that is not removable. They'll need to stay off of their feet for a while. Some people need surgery to repair the bone.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 2, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Gavin W.G. Chalmers DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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