Sesamoiditis / Sesamoid Fractures

What are

A sesamoid is a type of bone that is found within a tendon.  This bone allows smooth movement of the feet. Sesamoid fractures are bones located under the big toe. Sesamoiditis is painful inflammation of the sesamoid apparatus, which is located in the forefoot, swelling might also occur. It could be a continuous foot pain or might hurt by being aggravated by movement. Active young people are usually affected by sesamoiditis, especially athletes. The foot pain may be continuous, or it may occur with or be aggravated by, movement of the big toe joint.



Sesamoiditis can be caused by overuse and excessive pressure on the ball of the foot. Sesamoiditis can occur in any sort of activity that puts constant force on the forefoot causing the surrounding tissue to be irritated and inflamed. Usually stress fracture and full fracture can occur in the sesamoids from overuse. These bones have a limited blood supply and it can be difficult to heal if not treated immediately.  A big contributing factor for women is wearing high heels because they stretch the flecor tendon and make the sesamoids more vulnerable.  If not treated immediately it can lead to chronic pain and inflammation of the bone.



Symptoms may range from a dull ache to a sharp pain every time an individual walks. The area where Sesamoiditis occurs may be swollen and slightly red.  The symptoms might get worse over time and the pain will be so unbearable that the patient should seek medical treatment from a doctor.  If a patient suffers from Sesamoiditis, they should not bend their big toe upwards because it will cause the pain to worsen.



The best treatment for Sesamoiditis/Sesamoid Fractures is taking pressure off the foot by using crutches.  Patients who suffer from Sesamoiditis/Sesamoid fractures should rest their foot and use shoes with some sort of cushion. Physical therapy can be helpful by increasing circulation, which will help limit inflammation.  Using anti-inflammatory can also be used to reduce inflammation in the bones.  If treatments for Sesamoiditis fail, then surgery is recommended, which involves removal of sesamoid.



The best way to prevent Sesamoiditis is to slowly increase the intensity of your exercise.  You should warm up before exercising and have break sessions so you can cool off, and do not exercise when muscles are stiff from previous workout.  Before working out you should wear proper footwear to reduce or prevent chances of Sesamoiditis. Also if you are feeling fatigue, you should take a break for a day.