What's That Pain in My Big Toe?
By Dr. Rion Berg
December 14, 2016
Category: sports injuries
Tags: turf toe   fractures  

Your big toe is killing you. You know you've been doing a lot of running around lately to buy gifts for the family or maybe you played some pickup basketball yesterday at the gym. You're not exactly sure when it happened or how it happened but it's been throbbing away ever since yesterday. You've taken some ibuprofen and iced it, but it still hurts and you want to know what's going on.

There's a good chance you've injured your sesamoids.

What? I know it's a strange name.

Your sesamoids are the medical term for the two bones beneath the big toe that act as a pulley for the tendons they're imbedded in. They allow the tendons to easily slide and absorb weight when you walk, jump, or run.

There are 3 types of injuries to the sesamoids:

Turf toe
A turf toe is a sprain to the ligaments around the big toe joint. Turf toe may also result in an injury to the soft tissue attached to the sesamoid or a fracture of the sesamoid. Those most at risk are football players (notably kickers like Seahawks Steven Hauschka), runners, and dancers.

Sesamoiditis
Typically caused by an overuse injury by athletes, sesamoiditis is an inflammation of the tendons and surrounding tissue. In this case, pain can develop gradually. With a fracture the pain will be immediate. You can have a hard time bending and straightening the big toe. Although swelling and bruising often come with sesamoiditis, this is not always the case.

Fractures
As mentioned above the pain with a fracture will be immediate and will take some time to heal. However, with chronic sesamoid fractures the pain may come and go depending on activities. You don't have to be an athlete to fracture your toe. It's not uncommon for podiatrists to see patients who have jammed their toe into a piece of furniture in the middle of the night.

If you've experienced any of these symptoms, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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