What is a Sesamoid?
Physicians define “Sesamoids” as a classification of bone within the body that does not connect to any other bone or joint, connecting instead directly to tendons or muscles. The largest and most recognizable Sesamoid would include the kneecap, but the two small sesamoids found on the underside of the big toe can potentially cause issues with the foot.
In the body, Sesamoid bones provide a surface for tendons to slide across like pulleys, ensuring that the tendons can more efficiently help the muscles apply force. The small sesamoids in the foot, while only as large as a pair of corn kernels, help to elevate the toe bone which affects the weight bearing ability of the foot. If the sesamoids cause inflammation in the tendons around them, physicians call this “sesamoiditis” and classify it as a form of tendinitis. Runners, dancers, and people who often need to crouch or put weight on the ball of the foot carry a higher risk of developing Sesamoiditis.