Could You Have Sesamoiditis?

Are you experiencing pain in the ball of your foot that gets worse when you walk, especially when you are barefoot? Does your big toe feel stiff and difficult to bend? Is there any bruising or swelling around the toe? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be suffering from a condition we treat regularly at Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle Clinic known as sesamoiditis.

What is it?

Sesamoids are very small bones that are embedded in tendons. They occur in several places in the human body but in the feet there are two sesamoids on the bottom of your foot up near the big toe. Their job is to allow the tendon to glide smoothly making it possible for the big toe to move up and down and to aid in activities that require pushing off such as walking, climbing and running. Sesamoids receive a good deal of pressure and force just from daily weight-bearing activities. Add sports or work-related activities that add pounding or long periods of time on your feet and it’s easy to see how these tiny bones can get inflamed or even fractured. When this happens, you have sesamoiditis.


Once our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. A. Bil Buksh examines your foot and diagnoses sesamoiditis, he will determine the best treatment method for you. It may include any of the following:

  • Rest and ceasing the activity that is putting excess pressure on the sesamoids
  • Icing the affected area
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Steroidal injection to reduce pain and swelling
  • Bracing
  • Changes in footwear to more cushioned, soft-soled shoes that will protect the sesamoids and relieve pressure on the ball of the foot

Early treatment is important in preventing more extensive damage to the foot. If you have pain or discomfort in any part of your foot or ankle, contact either our Edmond or Norman office for an appointment and get yourself on the road to relief.