Sesamoid Problems

What is a sesamoid?

The sesamoids are two bones in the ball of your big toe that allow the toe to move freely and the tendons to work across the big toe joint. Sesamoids often get injured with trauma or repetitive injury caused by high heels or sports.

Causes of sesamoid pain:

  • Sesamoiditis – Inflammation of the bones in the ball of foot.
  • Fracture – One or both of the sesamoid bones are fractured.
  • Avascular Necrosis – The blood supply to the sesamoids get cut off and they die.
  • Arthritis – Osteoarthritis as a result of wear and tear.

Sesamoid symptoms:

Patients complain of pain and or swelling in the ball of the big toe. Sesamoid symptoms can also include bruising and problems straightening or bending the big toe.

Diagnosing sesamoid problems:

Diagnosing sesamoid problems begins with examining the foot; our podiatric specialists will check for tenderness and check the movement of the foot and toes. An X-ray will be required if we suspect sesamoiditis or a foot fracture. An Ultrasound scan or MRI can be used to help diagnose injuries to tendons and soft tissue.


Treatment for sesamoiditis

  • Custom orthotics
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Surgery

Frequently asked questions

Symptoms of sesamoiditis feels like pain under your big toe joint which is worse when standing or walking.

A sesamoid fracture can only be seen using imaging. A podiatrist can request the imaging and take a look for you.

Conservative treatments for a sesamoid fracture include orthotics to offload the area and shockwave therapy to encourage healing. In cases where all treatments have failed the sesamoid can be surgically removed.

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Thoughts and advice on foot health care from the Podogo team.