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What is Sesamoid?

Sesamoid is a broad description for any irritation of the esamoid bones—tiny bones within the tendons that run to the big toe. Similar to the kneecap, the sesamoids of the foot function like a pulley by increasing the leverage of the tendons that control the toe. Each time you push off against the toe the sesamoids part of this movement, and they can eventually become aggravated.

Sesamoiditis is similar to tendonitis, because these bones are stationed within the tendons, and the tendons around the bones can become inflamed.

Treatment of Sesamoiditis

  • Rest. Stop activities that cause pain and switch to low-impact cross-training exercises.
  • Ice. Apply ice under the big toe to relieve pain.
  • Arch supports. Wear arch supports or metatarsal pads to take pressure off the sesamoid bones.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve pain and fight inflammation.
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce swelling.
  • Walking boot or crutches

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