The general treatment for sesamoiditis includes ceasing the pain-inducing activity, resting and icing the soles of the feet; wearing soft-soled shoes with low heels; and gradually returning to activities with dense cushioning pads supporting the sesamoids. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin may also be used, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the doctor may recommend a steroid injection to reduce swelling.
Sesamoiditis is a form of tendinitis that occurs when the tendons surrounding the sesamoids of the foot become inflamed or irritated. This condition is common among certain athletes such as baseball catchers, runners and ballet dancers, and treatment rarely requires surgery, notes the AAOS.
The chief symptom is pain focused on the ball of the foot underneath the big toe, and sufferers may also experience bruising, swelling and difficulty bending the big toe. If the pain is sudden and severe rather than developing gradually, the sesamoid may be fractured. Patients with a fractured sesamoid may need to wear a short leg-fracture brace, tape the big toe to immobilize it, wear a J-shaped cushion around the sesamoid and take over-the-counter pain medications, explains the AAOS. The pain caused by a fractured sesamoid may take several months to subside.