Could You Have Capsulitis?

Have you been experiencing sharp pains or aches in the joints of your toes, stiffness in the ball of your foot or any swelling of the toe joints? Does it feel like your sock is bunched up or that there is a tiny pebble in your shoe? Is it difficult to put your full weight on your foot and is walking painful? If so, you may have Capsulitis. This condition occurs when ligaments surrounding the joint at the base of toe get inflamed. Capsulitis most often affects the second, third or fourth toe.

Causes of Capsulitis

With Capsulitis, there is too much pressure on the forefoot which results in inflammation of the ligaments. There are several possible reasons for this excess pressure:

  • Abnormal foot structure—deformities such as bunions, one toe longer than the other or arch problems for example, all make a patient more prone to Capsulitis
  • Medical conditions that have inflammation as a symptom, such as arthritis
  • Overuse—activities that require repetitive bending of your toes such as gardening, climbing or sitting on the floor put excess strain on the toes and forefoot
  • Improperly fitting footwear—shoes that do not provide adequate arch support or high heeled shoes that put pressure on the forefoot can be contributing factors
  • An injury or trauma to the forefoot

Diagnosis and Treatment

Symptoms of Capsulitis are similar to those of other disorders of the foot and that’s why if you are experiencing any of the above signs, you should make an appointment at Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle Clinic for an evaluation. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. A. Bil Buksh will be able to make a definitive diagnosis after examining your feet and listening to your symptoms and medical history. Fortunately Capsulitis will usually respond to conservative treatments. Resting the foot from activities that require bending your toes for a period of time is necessary. The foot doctor may also recommend icing the affected area and an oral anti-inflammatory medication or cortisone shot to relieve pain and inflammation. Changing your shoes and possibly adding custom orthotics to correct foot position or shift pressure due to a deformity may also be a solution.

Getting treatment early is important to prevent the toe from becoming completely dislocated, which would require much more invasive treatment and possibly surgery. Contact our Edmond or Norman office by calling (405) 285-7408 and find out just what’s behind your toe pain and what you can do about it.