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Sesamoid Fractures

By Danielle Campagne, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of San Francisco - Fresno

Fractures may occur in the two small round bones at the base of the big toe (sesamoid bones).

These bones may fracture while running, hiking, or participating in sports that involve coming down too hard on the ball of the foot (such as basketball and tennis).

Usually, if these bones are broken, walking causes a deep achy or sharp pain in the ball of the foot behind the big toe.


  • Padding or orthoses

  • If pain continues, possibly surgery

Using padding or specially constructed insoles (orthoses) for the shoe helps relieve the pain.

If pain continues, the broken sesamoid bone may need to be removed surgically.