Most sources indicate there are 26 bones in each foot. But that number actually isn’t correct.
There are two bones that always go unaccounted for. These bones are called sesamoids, and they reside under the big toe joint.
If you’ve ever had or currently have pain under the big toe joint, a problem with one of the sesamoids could be the reason. These bones are two of the smallest in the foot but a condition of them can hurt as much as any other bone.
Inflammation of one of the sesamoids goes by the medical term of sesamoiditis. This condition occurs from repetitively putting too much pressure on the big toe joint.
Sesamoiditis can also stem from coming down hard on the ball of the foot. This is most likely to happen to people with high arches, as they put more pressure on the balls of the feet than those with normal or low arches.
A fracture of one of the sesamoid bones is another common problem we see under the big toe joint and it can be a very difficult condition to heal.
And exactly because of how tricky it can be to heal a sesamoid problem, it’s mission critical to have any pain on the ball of the foot diagnosed as early as possible. Surgery has been an unfortunate result in situations where a sesamoid problem was left untreated for too long, but it doesn’t have to come to that.
If you see your podiatrist early enough, nonsurgical treatments for sesamoid injuries can be as simple as wearing shoes with a good amount of cushion, avoiding putting weight on the foot, physical therapy, orthotic devices, or steroid injections.
They may be small and commonly ignored, but sesamoids can wreak havoc on the foot. So don’t wait to reach out to your podiatrist if you’re experiencing any pain in the ball of your foot.
And, as a bonus point, you now know that you have four more bones in your body than you thought.
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