Sesamoiditis – When Tiny Bones Cause Big Problems

Sesamoids sound as if they belong to the android family, but no, they are bones – the only bones in the body not attached to other bones but connected to tendons or embedded in the muscle. The knee cap or patella is the largest sesamoid, while two other, the size of a corn kernel, are found in the underside of the foot, just behind the big toe, which allow it to move up and down freely. When the tendons surrounding the sesamoids are inflamed due to pressure placed on the balls of the feet, the condition is called Sesamoiditis.


  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Pain in the ball of the foot or under the big toe
  • Pain gets worse when weight-bearing
  • Stiffness when bending the toe


  • Weight-bearing sports
  • Activities such as running which cause recurring pressure on the balls of the feet
  • Excessive forces caused by wearing high-heeled shoes

Treatment is mostly non-operative, but if traditional measures fail, a good podiatrist will suggest surgery to remove the sesamoid bone. Our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico of Syracuse Podiatry, who specializes in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, serves the people of Fayetteville in the Syracuse area. In the case of sesamoiditis, Dr. D’Amico recommends:

  • Discontinuation of all activity that causes pressure on the area
  • Use of orthotics. Cushioned, low-heeled shoes should be worn
  • Use of ice wrapped in a towel on the area that pains
  • The use of braces to allow for healing
  • Taping the big toe so that it remains bent in a downward fashion
  • The use of anti-inflammatory medications after consulting a doctor
  • Receiving a steroid injection to reduce the swelling

At Syracuse Podiatry, we work hard to improve the quality of life through treatment of foot and ankle problems. If you have any of the above symptoms, call and make an appointment with

Dr. D’Amico at (315) 446 3668, so that you can continue leading a pain-free life.



  • Recent Posts

  • Categories