The sesamoid bones are found at the bottom of the great toe joint. These bones help the big toe function during push off when running and walking. As a result the sesamoid bones absorb a lot of stress especially in high impact exercise and can easily become inflamed. High heel shoes can also cause excessive pressure to be placed on the sesamoid bones resulting in inflammation.


Pain and swelling on the bottom of the great toe joint are common symptoms of sesamoiditis. Pain is usually occurs with weight bearing. Barefoot, flexible shoes or high heels will typically increase the pain. High impact exercise or sports will also worsen the condition.


Sesamoiditis is typically diagnosed with clinical examination and weight bearing x-rays. In some instances a MRI is helpful to visualize the soft tissue structures attached to the bones.


The goal of treatment of sesamoiditis is the decrease inflammation of the sesamoid bones. This can be achieved with rest, ice, and elevation. Removing excessive stress on the bones is essential. Foam or silicone padding can be used to remove pressure from the area. Innersoles can also be used to decrease the amount of pressure on the bottom of the great toe joint. In severe cases a Cam Walker or surgical shoe can be used to distribute weight more evenly throughout the foot. For long term relief a custom orthotic with aperture beneath the affected sesamoid bone can be fabricated. In some cases surgical removal of the sesamoid bone may be necessary.

*For products to remove stress from the sesamoid bones we recommend

*If you feel you are suffering from sesamoiditis please call our office (numbers below) or fill out the contact form and we will contact you.


I suffered with chronic heel pain for over a year. I finally went to see Dr. Fritz who examined me and performed X-rays on the same visit. He diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis. After a course of physical therapy, a cortisone shot and a pair of custom orthotics I’m able to walk pain free again.

- Jeff C.

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