Posts for tag: sesamoiditis

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
December 19, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: sesamoiditis   Sesamoid  

What is Sesamoiditis?

Sesamoids are small bones that are only connected to tendons or surrounded in muscle. This only appears in a few places in the body, one of which is the foot. Two very tiny sesamoids are found in the underside of the foot near the big toe. One is on the outer side of the foot and the other bone is close to the middle of the foot. This structure provides a smooth surface for the tendons to slide over, which helps the tendons move muscles. They help with weight bearing and also help to elevate the bones of the big toe. So now that you know what sesamoids are, you might be wondering what sesamoiditis is and what its symptoms are.


Just like any other bone, sesamoids can unfortunately fracture. The tendons surrounding the sesamoids may also become irritated or inflamed and this is what sesamoiditis is. Sesamoiditis is also a form of tendonitis and is a common condition among ballerinas, runners, and baseball catchers due to the pressure that is constantly placed on their feet.

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis may include:

  • Pain under the big toe or ball of the foot
  • Swelling and/or bruising
  • Difficulty in bending and straightening the big toe

Treating Sesamoiditis

Treatments include:

  • Resting and stopping any activity that could be causing pain and inflammation
  • Anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and aspirin only after consulting your physician
  • Icing the sole of the foot
  • Wearing soft-soled and low-heeled shoes
  • Cushioning inserts in the shoes

If symptoms persist after treatments, you may need to wear a removable brace for 4-6 weeks to help the bones heal. Call your podiatrist today to ask any questions about sesamoiditis and get on your way to pain-free feet once again!

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
January 28, 2016
Tags: sesamoiditis  

Sesamoids are among the more unique bones of the body. They are small bones that are only connected to tendons or embedded in muscle and they are found in only a few places in the human body. In the foot, two tiny sesamoids (think kernel of corn size) are on the bottom of your foot up near the big toe.  In this position, the sesamoids provide a way for the tendons to slide smoothly and carry muscle force necessary for pushing off with the big toe and weight-bearing activities such as walking and running. When the tendons surrounding the sesamoids become inflamed or irritated, sesamoiditis is the result.


At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, patients with sesamoiditis complain of pain on the ball of the foot or under the big toe. You may have difficulty bending and straightening your toe. Swelling and bruising in the affected area may also occur. Being on your feet can make the symptoms worse and people with activities that put pressure on the balls of the feet—runners, baseball catchers, ballet dancers—are particularly prone to sesamoiditis.


If these symptoms sound familiar, make an appointment with one of our board certified podiatrists: Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond.  After conducting a thorough examination, asking questions about your symptoms and confirming the diagnosis of sesamoiditis, the foot doctor will prescribe the right treatment for you. It may include any or all of the following:

  • Modifying or discontinuing activities that are aggravating the sesamoids
  • Cushioning or padding in your shoes to relieve pressure to the inflamed area
  • Anti-inflammatory medications taken orally or by injection to relieve pain and swelling
  • Icing
  • Choosing shoes that are low heeled and soft soled

If you feel that you might be suffering from sesamoiditis, contact our Reading office for an appointment and get back to doing the activities you enjoy.

Contact Us

New England & Ankle Specialists

(781) 944-4044
30 New Crossing Road Suite 311 Reading, MA 01876