Who Gets Sesamoid Injuries?


Let’s be honest, you probably read “sesame” the first time around and thought – that can’t be right, who gets sesame injuries? ☺

So let’s start there. What the heck are sesamoids?

To visualize, look at your foot, where your big toe joint is. Then imagine two small round bones that are close to that joint, but not directly attached to other bones. Instead, they are embedded in the tendons that help control the big toe.

Why are they important?

Well, these small pearls act as a pulley pivot point, allowing for smooth movement of the big toe. The tiny bones also take on impact and protect the tendon when performing a motion requiring the heel to be lifted while the toes are flat on the ground. For example, the moment right before you leave the ground for a jump or the way your foot drives into the ground during a golf swing.

Who is most likely to get a sesamoid injury?

Most sesamoid problems are either due to sesamoiditis (inflammation or irritation of the tendon surrounding the sesamoid bones) or a fracture of the sesamoid bones. Athletes such as runners, sprinters, ballet dancers, golfers, and volleyball players all end up in a position in which there is immense pressure put on the sesamoid bones. Repetitive use of the position (with the heel lifted) can lead to inflammation and even fractures.

What do I do if I think I have sesamoid problems?

If you experience pain, swelling, and maybe even bruising below the big toe joint, it may be indicative of a sesamoid issue. If bending or moving the big toe is painful, it can be related to the big toe joint, including a sesamoid issue.

Our podiatrist will recommend that you stop the activity that has caused the problem. Then try using cushioning or padding under the affected area. If you cannot put weight on the big toe joint/ball of the foot, it is more likely to be a fracture.

To get the right diagnosis and proper treatment, come see our podiatrists. To find pain relief or get custom orthotics to help you recover, make an appointment with our podiatrists at The Podiatry Group. Our foot doctors can perform a thorough assessment at our Jonesboro, AR office.