what is sesamoiditis

What causes sesamoiditis?

Sesamoiditis is an inflammatory issue with the small sesamoid bones and related structures under the big toe joint of the foot. The main symptom is pain under the big toe joint on weightbearing and pain on palpation of the small sesamoid bones under the joint.

The cause of sesamoiditis is an overload or overuse of the area, especially if the foot is vulnerable and has lost some of the protective fat pad under the ball of the foot due to atrophy.

This overload or overuse could be for a number of reasons:

  1. Standing all day at work on a hard floor.
  2. Wearing high heel shoes that puts more pressure on the ball of the foot.
  3. Not wearing shoes that have some cushioning in the forefoot when good cushioning is needs due to standing a lot of being active on hard surfaces..
  4. High levels of sport. Sports that involve pivoting on the ball of the foot are a particular problem here. This includes sports like tennis and basketball.
  5. Fat pad atrophy under the ball of the foot takes away the body’s natural protection.
  6. Having a foot structure (eg forefoot valgus) that puts greater load under the big toe joint also increases the vulnerability of the sesamoid bones.
  7. Have an occupation such as standing on a ladder that places a lot of load on the forefoot also increases the risk.

The treatment for sesamoiditis is mostly aimed at getting rid of or compensating for those causes.

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