What is Sesamoiditis?

You might not even know it, but your big toe contains two unique structures that are made of small pieces of bone surrounded by a tendon. They make it easier for us to use our feet for activities that involve a pushing off motion, like running or climbing, by creating smooth movements in the big toe. These structures are called sesamoids. As useful as they are, sesamoids also absorb a lot of pressure, which might cause them to become swollen or inflamed. The name of this condition is sesamoiditis.


Sesamoiditis is associated with pressure on the balls of the feet and toes, which can come from:

· Running or climbing

· Dancing or doing ballet

· Playing basketball or football

· Having high arches

· Wearing high-heeled shoes


If you have ever experienced an inflammatory condition like arthritis, then you might be familiar with some of the symptoms of sesamoiditis:

· A dull, persistent pain beneath the big toe joint that is worse with activity

· Swelling, inflammation, and perhaps bruising in the area

· Trouble bending or moving the big toe due to stiffness


Fortunately, sesamoiditis can be largely treated with nonsurgical options, including:

· Ceasing participation in the movements that cause pain

· Wearing supportive, shock absorbent shoes

· Icing the big toe and keep it slightly elevated

· Padding the area or immobilize it with a bandage

· Being fitted for custom orthotics that help balance the pressure on your feet

In rare cases of sesamoiditis that do not respond to the above treatments, surgery might be necessary. However, the doctors at the Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston will make it their priority to ensure that you are first healed with conservative, non-invasive treatments. In addition to treating the sports injuries that might lead to sesamoiditis, patients of all ages can come to any of our six offices in the North Houston, Texas area for heel pain, foot ulcers, and more. If you would like to contact us to ask any questions or to request an appointment, please do not hesitate to call us at (281) 444-4114!