Spotting Sesamoiditis


In the bottom of your foot, near your big toe, there are two small bones called the sesamoids. Special grooves on the bottom of the first metatarsal bone—the long, thin bone in the foot that connects the ankle bones to the big toe—accommodate the corn kernel-sized sesamoids. The toe flexor tendons slide over these two small bones, whichallow for the smooth transfer of force from the lower leg muscles to the big toe. The sesamoid bones also help bear some of your body weight, reducing the stress on other forefoot structures. 

When the sesamoid bones experience trauma or repetitive force, the tendons that slide across the bones are subject to irritation and inflammation.  This is a painful condition called sesamoiditis

While it can happen to anyone, sesamoiditis is most commonly seen in runners, baseball catchers, and ballet dancers. Hyperextension, a sudden and excessive upward bending force on the big toe usually causes sesamoiditis. Other causes include sudden trauma or repetitivestress injury to the foot and long-term use of high heel shoes.

Symptoms associated with sesamoiditis include:

  • a persistent, dull pain under your big toe joint that increases with activity
  • limping
  • swelling and bruising
  • Impaired ability to bend or straighten your big toe
  • limited range of motion
  • pain referred to the knees, hips, or lower back.

If you are worried about sesamoiditis or anything else related to the health or well-being of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, the first thing to do is to schedule a visit with the foot doctor. With years of specialized education and experience, your podiatrist is the best-qualified medical professional to help. Call Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. at 410-224-4448 or click here to schedule a convenient appointment with Dr. James M. McKee in our comfortable, state of the art office in Annapolis, MD. Dr. McKee will provide you with a thorough examination culminating in an accurate diagnosis, then work with you to create an effective and individualized plan for treatment and follow up care as appropriate.