Sesamoiditis, a cause of big toe joint and foot pain

sesamoiditis foot

What is sesamoiditis and how is this foot pain diagnosed?

Sesamoiditis is inflammation of the small bones that sit under the big toe joint. It is caused by excessive pressure under this joint which can be a result of high foot arches, a “dropped” metatarsal bone, or atrophy of the fat pad. It is common amongst active or older individuals.

Diagnosis is made usually by a thorough history and physical examination of your foot/feet. Occasionally at Performance Podiatry, we may refer you for x-ray or ultrasound to ensure that the sesamoid bones have not sustained a fracture. The sensation of sesamoiditis and sesamoid fracture can be quite similar, so it is important to check for this if concerned. Your foot x-ray and ultrasound will be bulk billed so there are no out of pocket costs.

How do we assess for the cause of your sesamoiditis foot pain?

At Performance Podiatry, diagnosis is made after a physical examination, x-ray or ultrasound. We then perform a biomechanical assessment to determine the cause of your sesamoiditis. It could be caused by one main factor or several smaller contributing factors, including:

  • Prominent bones in the ball of the foot (metatarsals)
  • High foot arches
  • Low foot arches, or a foot that pronates late in the walking cycle, unable to use the big toe joint effectively
  • Bunions
  • Atrophy of the fat pad under the ball of the foot
  • Particular activities eg. dancing


Once diagnosis is made, it can be an easy condition to manage. However, the longer that the condition is left untreated the more stubborn it can be. If you suspect that you have sesamoidits, sesamoid fracture or ball of the foot pain, contact us to have one of our expert podiatrists assess you and create a management plan just for you. For more information on sesamoiditis, see our sesamoiditis information page.

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Make a podiatrist appointment for sesamoiditis treatment.

Our highly qualified and experienced podiatrists are experts in biomechanics and it’s our philosophy that the finest foot care requires an entirely bespoke experience. That’s why we are dedicated to providing entirely tailor-made diagnosis and treatment services that are the best in Australia.

Our dynamic practice has a holistic approach to resolving foot complaints.

From assessment and diagnosis to extraordinary treatment, every step of your journey with us will deliver you the ultimate podiatric experience, resulting in healthier and happier feet.

Book a consultation with our podiatrists in Sydney (Macquarie St)Darlinghurst and Randwick to discuss your condition and we’ll get you pain-free and back to full function as smoothly and quickly as possible, so you can return to the activities and life you love.



The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.