Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ


I am a collegiate high jumper. I somehow ended up with a stress fracture in the small bones under my big toe, the sesamoids. The pain has been going on for months. Now my doctor wants to do surgery to graft new bone where the sesamoids didn't heal. I've been told I won't be able to compete for at least four months after the surgery, which means I'll have to miss the upcoming track season. Why can't the doctor just go in and take the bones out so I can get back to my sport?


Your performance as a high jumper would be significantly worse if both the sesamoid bones were taken out. The sesamoid bones may be small, but they play a vital role in the way the foot and big toe work. The sesamoids are embedded in the soft tissues under the main joint of the big toe. The short flexor muscle of the big toe passes over the "bump" formed by these two bones. This bump acts as a fulcrum point to give leverage for the toe flexor muscle. The toe flexor muscle wouldn't work as well if the sesamoid bones were taken out, and your big toe might start to slant outward and bend up like a claw. Rather than taking the bone out, your doctor can keep the fulcrum point intact with a bone graft.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Medical Multimedia Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Medical Multimedia Group, LLC and used herein by permission.

Our Specialties

Where Does It Hurt?

Our Locations

  Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on YouTube
Follow us on Twitter