Capsulitis Can Be a Painful Problem


The joints in your feet are surrounded by tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues that form a sort of a “capsule” around the joint and facilitate its function. Sometimes, the ligaments in the capsule become irritated and inflamed. This creates a condition called capsulitis. This is a common podiatric issue, occurring most often at the big toe.

Capsulitis most frequently affects men and women with bunions, unstable arches, arthritis, or particularly inflexible calf muscles. Interestingly, people whose second toes are longer than their big toes are also at increased risk of capsulitis. In these cases, pain tends to be localized around the second toe rather than the first.

Symptoms of capsulitis include:

  • discomfort ranging from a mild ache to severe pain

  • a feeling like there is a stone under the ball of your foot

  • swelling

  • difficulty wearing shoes

Left untreated, capsulitis can progress to the complete dislocation of the affected toe. If you are exhibiting symptoms of capsulitis, you should be seen by a podiatrist as quickly as possible. The symptoms of capsulitis are challenging to distinguish from those of other conditions such as Morton’s neuroma. With decades of specialized training and experience, your foot doctor is the best-qualified specialist to diagnose and treat your issue.

If your podiatrist tells you that capsulitis is the source of your discomfort, she or he will have numerous treatment options from which to choose, including:

  • RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)

  • taping

  • physical therapy to stretch the calf muscles

  • custom orthotics to provide additional cushioning and support

  • surgery to realign the toes, but only in the most severe case

Are you worried that you may have developed capsulitis, or are do you have any other concerns about the health or well-being of your feet, ankles, or lower legs? Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein can help. Call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026 or click here to schedule a convenient appointment in our Hartford and Rocky Hill offices today.