Causes of Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is usually caused by repetitive, excessive pressure on the forefoot. It typically develops when the structures of the first metatarsophalangeal joint are subjected to chronic pressure and tension. The surrounding tissues respond by becoming irritated and inflamed.

Sesamoiditis is a common problem among ballet dancers and people who play the position of catcher in baseball. Any activity that places constant force on the ball of the foot—even walking—can cause sesamoiditis.

Damage to the sesamoid bone may also result in sesamoiditis. Stress fractures (microscopic tears in the bone structure due to repetitive abuse) can produce this condition.

Publication Review By: John J. Swierzewski, D.P.M.

Published: 31 Dec 1999

Last Modified: 05 Oct 2015