Big Toe Pain and Sesamoiditis


Athletes who spend a lot of time on their toes may develop a type of big toe pain caused sesamoiditis.

This is a kind of tendinitis that happens frequently with joggers, runners, baseball catchers and ballet dancers.

What Is Sesamoiditis?

Two tiny sesamoids, which are about the sizes of a pencil eraser, are located on the bottom of the foot near the big toe.

They’re actually located within the tendons and act as a pulley to increase the tendon’s leverage over the big toe.

They help the foot bear weight and the big toe to function. When the tendons that surround these sesamoids become inflamed, that’s sesamoiditis.

What Are The Symptoms For Sesamoiditis?

Symptoms usually come on gradually and include pain under the big toe where it meets the forefoot, discomfort in moving the big toe, tenderness, swelling and bruising or redness.

The pain starts out as a dull ache and will increase to an intense pain or even throbbing during activity.

What Is The Treatment For Sesamoiditis?

To diagnose sesamoiditis, we conduct a thorough physical examination of the foot. We’ll move the foot around and put light pressure on areas around the sesamoids to determine exactly where the pain originates.

If sesamoiditis is suspected, we’ll likely conduct X-rays and use an ultrasound to verify that there is no fracture.

There are a few treatment options for sesamoiditis, starting with rest. The tendons need a break from the activity that is causing the inflammation, so we’ll prescribe rest and possibly ice therapy. We might also recommend changes in your shoes, taping, shoe pads to cushion the sesamoids, and possibly steroid injections.

If the X-rays and ultrasound show that the sesamoids have been fractured, we may also recommend orthotics or a boot to cushion the bones further and allow the tendons to heal.

If you are experiencing foot pain, call our office or make an online appointment


Staff was extremely friendly and professional. They took us back immediately and no waiting for doctor to come in. Dr Settles-Carter was amazing with my little girl. She took her time and explained every detail to my daughter. As we were leaving my little girl said Dr Settles-Carter was the best doctor ever. Coming from a 10yr old.

Bert King

It took some work, and patience, but my feet are much better now. Dr. Freels worked with me to find exercises, and more importantly, the right shoe to wear. So nice not to dread going into work, for the pain of simply walking. Despite what another review here says, they've never tried to sell me any shoes there, have always left the choice up to me.

Robert Griffith

The staff was very courteous. However, the care provided by Dr. Carter and the staff in the back was exceptional! I finally had answers for my health concerns and issues and a course or plan of treatment including the costs of the services they provide. I especially liked the hours of operation...I can see a doctor for the treatment I need without having to use my personal and sick days! Love the flexibility. Lastly, the ambiance esthetics were relaxing and beautiful.

Bonnie Ogle Taylor

The entire staff at Lexington Podiatry was very welcoming and friendly. Jill went out of her way to make sure my daughter was taken care of. We appreciate being seen so quickly (it would have taken weeks to have seen an orthopedist for her foot injury). Now, she is on the road to recovery! Great office, thanks everyone!

Team Wade 24

Had a great experience! Everyone was very nice, it was clean, the doctor took time to listen to me. She showed me my x-rays and explained them to me. I would recommend them to family and friends.

Heather Purvis

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