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an affiliate of:
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Columbia University Medical Center

Sesamoid Injuries at the Ball of the Big Toe Joint

A sesamoid is a bone embedded in a tendon. Sesamoids are found in several joints in the body. In the normal foot, the sesamoids are two pea-shaped bones located in the ball of the foot, beneath the big toe joint.

Acting as a pulley for tendons, the sesamoids help the big toe move normally and provide leverage when the big toe “pushes off” during walking and running. The sesamoids also serve as a weight-bearing surface for the first metatarsal bone (the long bone connected to the big toe), absorbing the weight placed on the ball of the foot when walking, running, and jumping.

Sesamoid injuries can involve the bones, tendons, and/or surrounding tissue in the joint. They are often associated with activities requiring increased pressure on the ball of the foot, such as running, basketball, football, golf, tennis, and ballet. In addition, people with high arches are at risk for developing sesamoid problems. Frequent wearing of high-heeled shoes can also be a contributing factor.

Non-surgical treatment of sesmoid inuries include paddings and strappings, immobilization, oral medications, physical therapy, steroid injections, and orthotic devices. When sesamoid injuries fail to respond to non-surgical treatment, surgery may be required, and we will decide with you and determine the type of procedure that is best suited to your individual condition.

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Midtown Manhattan
60 East 56th Street
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10022
(212) 355-4229

NYP-Columbia Hospital
161 Fort Washington Avenue
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10032
(212) 355-4229

Riverdale
3616 Henry Hudson Parkway
Riverdale, NY 10463
(718) 548-5757

Foot Associates of New York


affiliated with
nyp logo white
an affiliate of:
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Columbia University Medical Center