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Sesamoiditis is an inflammation of the sesamoid bones in the ball of the foot and the tendons they are embedded in. It’s usually caused by overuse, especially by dancers, runners and athletes who frequently bear weight on the balls of their feet. It’s treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medication.

Sesamoiditis is a specific kind of tendonitis — inflammation of the tendons — that occurs in the ball of the foot. Because the tendons in the ball of the foot have small sesamoid bones embedded in them, these bones can become inflamed along with the tendons. The two pea-sized sesamoid bones sit under the big toe joint, where they provide leverage when the tendons load weight onto the ball of the foot. Activities that frequently transfer weight to the ball of the foot — including running, dancing and walking in high heels — can overstress these tendons and bones, causing inflammation and pain.


Sesamoiditis is usually caused by overuse of the tendons that interact with the sesamoid bones in the foot. Runners, dancers and athletes get it from over-practicing movements that transfer weight to the ball of the foot. People who wear high heels, who have very high arches or very flat feet or who walk with an inward roll can get it just from walking. Rarely, it can also be a side effect of gout.

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis from overuse develops gradually. You may notice a dull ache under the big toe that builds until it becomes difficult to walk. Symptoms can include:

  • Pain under the big toe
  • Difficulty bending the big toe
  • Difficulty bearing weight or walking
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Bruising


  • Doctor at Shreya Hospital in Ghaziabad will ask you about how the pain started and then begin by physically examining the foot.
  • They will gently check for tenderness in the ball of the foot and move your big toe in different directions to test your mobility.
  • hey might use a technique called the Passive Axial Compression test that manipulates the joint in a similar way to walking in order to reproduce the symptoms of sesamoiditis.
  • They might also use imaging tests like, X-Ray, Bone Scan, CT-Scan, MRI to confirm or rule out certain related conditions.

Treatment of Sesamoiditis

  • Rest. Sesamoiditis is a repetitive stress injury, so the first thing to do to begin healing is to stop the activities that are causing the stress. You will need to keep pressure off of the injury until symptoms ease.
  • Restriction. Orthopedic Specialist might recommend temporarily strapping or taping the big toe. For more severe cases, they might suggest a short leg fracture brace to restrict movement.
  • Ice and elevation. These are used to help reduce inflammation. Use ice indirectly, either in an ice pack or wrapped in a towel.
  • Soft tissue therapy. Your Doctor may use therapeutic ultrasound, moist heat or soft tissue massage to help rehabilitate the tissues.
  • Physical therapy. If your foot has been restricted by a brace or bandaging, your healthcare provider may recommend physical therapy afterward to restore range of motion.
  • NSAIDs. These can help with inflammation and pain management. Your healthcare provider will help you determine if NSAIDs are right for you.
  • Steroid Injection. In rare, severe cases, your healthcare provider might give you a steroid injection directly into the injured tissue to relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Surgery. In rare cases of chronic sesamoiditis, when symptoms don’t resolve over time, surgery might be a last resort. Removing one (but not both) of the sesamoid bones can bring relief.