3 Common Sesamoid Injuries


Even the tiniest parts your body can produce a huge amount of pain if injured. Inside the tendons at the base of your big toes are two tiny bones called sesamoids. Sesamoid are bones that aren’t directly connected to other bones and are found in other places in your body in addition to your feet. Although they’re small, they have a big function. They act as a pulley, allowing your big toe to glide and push off while walking. It’s a function we take for granted until there’s an issue and there’s intense pain in the sesamoids with every step. Here at Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC, we see three common sesamoid injuries:

1.       Fractures – any bone in your body can get fractured – even the tiny sesamoids. They’re susceptible to the same two types of fractures: acute and stress. Acute fractures are a complete break caused by trauma, like a blow to the foot. These are typically followed by immediate pain and swelling. Sesamoid stress fractures are subtler. They produce ongoing pain in the ball of the foot that might come and go.

2.       Turf toe – this is similar to spraining your big toe. It’s often caused by a sudden and extreme “push off” or a twisting injury that forces the toe to extend past its normal range. You might feel a pop and a sudden sharp pain, followed by swelling. The toe will become stiff, limiting its range of motion.

3.       Sesamoiditis – this condition isn’t directly related to any specific injury. It’s typically an overuse injury from excessive pressure on the sesamoids. Tennis, football, and basketball players are often prone to sesamoiditis as they pound their feet over and over on the court. It comes with dull pain beneath the big toe. Many patients delay treatment since the condition improves and then gets worse depending on the level of activity.

It’s important if you are experiencing any pain in your big toe, or anywhere else in your foot, you make an appointment today for our podiatrist, Dr. David R. Sullivan, to examine your foot. Dr. Sullivan has years of experience treating any foot and ankle issue. Our conveniently located Westfield, IN office, serves both Boone and Hamilton County. Call us today at 317-896-6655.