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Unlike most other bones, which are connected to each other by joints, sesamoids are bones that are connected to tendons or are located in muscle bellies. One of the biggest sesamoids in our body is the patella. There are two such sesamoids present in our feet, located under the firstmetatarsal. Each is located on either side of the metatarsal.

The purpose of the sesamoids is to act as pulleys and aid with muscle function by providing a suitable surface for the tendons to ‘slide’ on. Similar to the other bones of the body, the sesamoids can get fractured. However, the tendons in the area may get irritated and inflamed causing, what is known as sesamoiditis.


Symptoms for sesamoiditis

  • Pain under the ball of the foot specifically under the big 1st toe
  • Pain may be gradual
  • Bruising may be present
  • Pain when bending or straightening the toe

Symptoms for sesamoid fracture

  • Immediate pain under the ball of the foot
  • Bruising may be present
  • Pain may be present when bending on straightening the toe


For further diagnosis, imaging may be required. X-rays and ultrasounds may be required to aid with assessing the bones and the tendons in the area.

Treatment methods would vary depending on whether the injury was to the bone or to the tendons. However, when the pain initiates in the area, it is best to start on RICE (resting, icing, compression and elevation) and to then visit your friendly podiatrist so that a treatment plan can be made suitable for you.



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