The sesamoid bones are two pea shaped bones which are situated on the underside of the big toe joint and protect the underside of the joint as well as increasing the strength of the downward motion of the big toe.
Due to the position, underneath the big toe joint, a lot of force is placed through them when we walk or run and occasionally they can become injured. The term sesamoiditis (inflammation of the sesamoids is a broad term which covers several pathologies including: fracture, avascular necrosis (interruption to the blood supply of a bone) arthritis, soft tissue injury of the supporting ligaments.
The sesamoids are also affected in a Turf Toe injury, this is a disruption of the ligaments supporting the sesamoids. Sesamoid problems can also occur in certain foot types to include a high arched (cavoid) type foot.
Management of sesamoid problems is dependent on the cause of the problem but in the first stages includes rest, activity modification and reduced weight-bearing. Investigations can range from x-ray, ultrasound scans to MRI.
Sesamoid bones beneath the big toe joint