What is Sesamoiditis?
Sesamoid bones are found at certain joints of the human body. Most well-known is the patella or knee cap. The bones assist the tendons crossing a joint to create a mechanical advantage for movement. In the foot there are two such bones that are located under the big toe.
Injury to the sesamoid bones is common due to the weight-bearing role these bones play when walking, running, and jumping.
The most common condition affecting the sesamoid bones is inflammation. This is termed sesamoiditis. Foot mechanics and shoe selection can lead to increased stress on the sesamoid bones. Other conditions that can present with similar symptoms can be sesamoid fracture or plantar plate injury.
What are Sesamoiditis Symptoms?
Individuals who have sesamoiditis will feel pain in the ball of their foot just under the big toe. Sometimes this pain may be sharp and persistent, while other times it will be a dull, nagging pain. It is almost always exaggerated with activity such as running or improper shoe wear. Lifted heals place additional stress on the sesamoid bones.
How is Sesamoiditis Diagnosed?
Our physicians will perform a complete history and physical examination including x-rays. X-ray will help to rule out a fracture of the sesamoid bones. It is important to note that some individuals have a split (bipartite) sesamoid which is a normal variant. This appears as a line on the x-ray where the two portions of the bone have not completely grown together. If x-ray and physical exam do not provide enough detail a MRI, CT, or bone scan may be ordered.