Foot and Ankle Specialist in the South Bay
The sesamoid bones, or sesamoids, are two bones located under the big toe
on the bottom of the foot. Unlike most other bones in the body, the sesamoids
are not connected to any other bone, and function like pulleys to provide
a smooth surface for tendons to transmit muscle forces. They also provide
assistance with weight bearing and elevate the bones of the big toe.
Sesamoids can break (fracture) just as any other bone. The tendons connected
to the sesamoids can also become inflamed or irritated. This is known
as sesamoiditis, and it is a form of tendonitis. Sesamoiditis is commonly
seen in runners, baseball catchers, and ballet dancers.
With sesamoiditis, pain is typically located on the ball of the foot under
the big toe. Pain can develop gradually, and can cause difficulty with
straightening or bending the big toe, as well as pain with physical activity.
Bruising or swelling may not always be visible.
In most cases, treatment will be nonsurgical, and can include:
- Medications to control inflammation and pain
- Rest and avoiding activity that causes pain
- Shoe modifications and cushion pads to relieve pressure
- Protecting and immobilizing the foot with a brace or walking boot
- Gradual return to physical activity
- Physical therapy, stretching exercises, and ultrasound treatments
If nonsurgical approaches fail, surgery may be recommended to remove the
sesamoid bone or address other issues affecting the foot or ankle.
Comprehensive Orthopedic Care
At Torrance Memorial Physician Network, our specialists take a comprehensive
approach to treating patients and their unique conditions. When you request
an appointment with our South Bay foot and ankle specialist, you will
receive a personalized evaluation to assess the underlying cause of your
pain and find the most appropriate treatment for you, whether that involves
treating sesamoiditis or a fracture of the sesamoids. Call to request