Sesamoiditis Symptoms

Now that we know all about the sesamoid bone and sesamoiditis, what are the symptoms you should look out for?

Sesamoiditis Symptoms Show Up Gradually: Don’t expect to wake up one day and realize that you have sesamoiditis.  The symptoms themselves show up slowly over time, rather than all at once.  Patients generally complain of very slight aches and pains that gradually increase in intensity over time.

  • Early Stage Symptoms
    • Sesamoid tenderness upon direct pressure
    • Mild pain during barefoot walking
    • Increased pain level while jumping or running
    • Pain disappears quickly with rest
    • Slight swelling under the sesamoids (ball of the foot)
  • Late Stage Symptoms
    • Consistent pain in the sesamoid area (ball of the foot, or behind the big toe)
    • Sharp pain when running or jumping even with well padded footwear
    • Sharp pain when applying pressure to the sesamoid area
    • Increased and longer lasting swelling of the affected area
    • Pain when bending the big toe upward (plantarflexion)
    • Swelling of the entire big toe area (1st metatarsophalangeal)



Pain Behind The Big Toe: Patients typically describe a painful sensation behind the big toe joint, just under the ball of the foot on the medial side (inner side).  If you are experiencing this type of pain in the location pictured here, then you may have sesamoiditis.

Limited Movement of the Big Toe: The onset of sesamoiditis has been known to cause swelling in the affected area, just behind the first metatarsal on the ball of the foot.  This swell has been known to inhibit movement of the first metatarsophalangeal.  This movement is called plantarflexion and dorsiflexion, which describes the ability to bend the big toe up and down.  Patients suffering swelling as a result of sesamoiditis may find it difficult to move the big toe at all.

If this type of pain sounds familiar, you may want to read up on some of the sesamoiditis treatments that we recommend.