Have you been experiencing pain right under that big toe after some physical activity or from wearing shoes/heels all day? Well that pain may be coming from two common conditions: sesamoiditis or Gout. Let’s start by giving a little background of each condition. First, sesamoids are the two circular small bones that are located right underneath the big toe. Their main purpose is to assist with weight-bearing and help elevate the rest of the bones in the big toe. With so much weight and so much biomechanical involvement the tendons surrounding the sesamoids can become inflamed or irritated.

Gout is a condition that is caused by a build up of uric acid in the joints. The big toe joint is the most common affected area. The noticeable different between gout and sesamoiditis is amount and timing of pain. Gout is normally accompanied with extremely painful attacks (mainly in men) and a classic symptom of waking up in the middle of the night with sharp throbbing pain in the big toe.

At Frederick’s Foot and Ankle Specialists we can help determine which condition you may have. Most importantly, we can help alleviate and treat the symptoms that arise from having either condition.

Usually dancers, runners and baseball catchers are more prone to getting sesamoiditis. While, eating too much red meat, shellfish and brandy, being a man over 40 yrs and genetics makes you more gout-prone. Did you know that historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin and King Henry VII of England had gout conditions? Gout has been around for a long time, unfortunately for Mr. Franklin and King Henry VIIIthey didn’t have Dr. Steinberg, Dr. Yanes, or Dr. Ho to treat them with today’s prescribed gout medication. So stop by our offices in Frederick or Urbana, MD!

Treatment for sesamoiditis is more up to the patient. Usually stoppage of the activity causing the inflammation is requested. Ibuprofen and aspirin may be prescribed and some more cushioned shoes may be ordered. In severe cases, we would administer steroid injections.

These are two drastically different conditions. One that you are more genetically-disposed (Gout) and the other that is caused mainly by physical activity without rest (Sesamoiditis). Come see us to help determine the proper diagnosis.

As always check your feet daily and stop by! It can help avoid future health problems!

y  Nikki Ho


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Our Offices

301-668-4927 (Fax)
Frederick Office
141 Thomas Johnson Dr., Suite 170 Frederick, MD 21702
Urbana Office
3430 Worthington Blvd., Suite 201, Urbana, MD 21704