Causes of Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition that produces pain beneath the big toe joint in the ball of the foot. Sesamoid bones, like the kneecap, are embedded in tendons and act to increase the leverage of the tendons that drive the big toe. Sesamoid bones are subjected to significant strain and pressure every time the big toe is used to propel the foot forward due to their location and function.

Sesamoiditis occurs when the sesamoid bones get irritated or injured due to overuse or repetitive contact.

Sesamoiditis can affect anyone, but people who engage in activities that require repetitive loading of the ball of the foot, such as dancing and running, are more likely to develop it. Sesamoiditis is also more common in people with prominent foot bones, highly arched feet, noticeably flat feet, or who run on the ball of their foot.

Symptoms of Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is associated with the following symptoms:


People suffering from sesamoiditis will experience a sharp, stabbing sensation near the ball of their foot.


Along with pain, sesamoiditis can cause swelling and inflammation in the area near the ball of the foot.


The affected area may be tender when touched or pressed when suffering from sesamoiditis.

Difficulty walking

People who suffer from sesamoiditis may find it difficult to move around and put weight on their foot as they walk, which can result in an uneven gait or limping.

Difficulty wearing certain types of shoes

The pain, swelling, and difficulty walking associated with sesamoiditis may make it difficult to wear certain types of shoes, such as high heels or rigid-soled boots.

Diagnosing and Treating Sesamoiditis

During a physical exam, a podiatrist will ask questions about the pain and swelling as well as examine the affected area of the foot. X-rays can also be used to check for fractures or damage to the bones near the ball of the foot.

After diagnosis, a podiatrist will create an individualized treatment plan to help with the symptoms. The following may be recommended:


To reduce pain and swelling, it is important to rest the affected foot as much as possible. Wearing cushioned shoes or orthotic inserts can also help provide support while walking.


Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce swelling and inflammation.


Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can reduce pain and swelling in the foot.

Physical therapy

A physical therapist might recommend exercises and stretches to strengthen muscles around the ball of the foot and improve flexibility.


As a last resort, surgery might be recommended to remove a damaged or fractured sesamoid bone from near the ball of the foot.

Are You Suffering From Sesamoiditis In The Caldwell Or Meridian, Idaho Area?

If you're suffering from sesamoiditis you owe it to yourself to speak with our experienced podiatrists as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 208.855.5955 to schedule your appointment. We service all areas surrounding Meridian, Idaho as well as all areas in the Caldwell, Idaho area. We look forward to helping you!

Dr. P. Roman Burk
Providing experienced private practice podiatry services in the Caldwell and Meridian, ID area since 2007.