What is Sesamoiditis of the Big Toe?

Larissa Roux, MD FRCP Dip Sport Med, MPH, PhD, discusses sesamoiditis, a common foot injury.

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Larissa Roux, MD FRCP Dip Sport Med, MPH, PhD, discusses sesamoiditis, a common foot injury.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Larissa Roux, MD, MPH, PhD, CCFP, Dip Sport Med

Duration: 1 minute, 38 seconds

Sesamoiditis refers to the painful inflammation around two little bones in the foot, called sesamoids, or, like sesame seeds if you will, that sit on the under surface of the distal joint of the big toe.

They're unusual in the fact that they are floating bones that are not connected to any other bones. Rather, they sit within the tendon that controls the motion of the great toe, and they provide a gliding surface for that tendon.

With dancing repeated pressure at this site from going into the demi-pointe position results in pain and inflammation of these sesamoid bones. It's made worse with direct pressure at the site and from straightening and bending the great toe.

This condition can be quite painful and slow to heal. Treatment consists of rest, ice, not doing the things that aggravate the problem as well as making sure that one gets an x ray to rule out the possibility of a fracture of these bones themselves. Taping can be helpful as well as using pads placed directly under the bones to relieve pressure at that point.

If you feel you may be suffering from this inflammatory condition, please don't hesitate to seek help from your local sports medicine physician and physiotherapist.

Presenter: Dr. Larissa Roux, Sports Medicine Physician, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Sports Medicine Physician

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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