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  • Writer's pictureRobin R Varghese, PT.

Heard of sesamoiditis? Have you been suffering from pain caused by the swelling of sesamoid bones?


  • The word Sesamoid is derived from the Latin word "Sesamum" which means sesame seeds. Sesamoid bones are bones that are very small in size.

  • Sesamoiditis is a chronic injury caused by frequent pressure which results in irritation and painful inflammation of the surrounding tissues. It is common in the ball of the foot and tendons where they are embedded in.

  • These bones are embedded in tendons or where tendons are sharply angled over a bony surface. They are commonly found in the tendons of hands, knees and feet

  • They act as a fulcrum and increases the angle of force and improves the efficiency of the muscle and tendon and stabilizes the bone.

  • It provides protection of tendons from stress and wear and helps in shock absorption ins joint and tendons.

  • Patella or knee cap is an example of a sesamoid bone. It is the largest sesamoid bone.


  • Damage to sesamoid bone

  • Deformation of joint

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Osteoporosis

  • Use of high heels/Boot marching

  • Arch deformities

  • Increase in body weight or training load

  • Running on forefoot

  • Bigger sesamoid bones have high risk

  • High impact sports like running, gymnastics, volleyball.


  • Dull aching or sharp throbbing pain

  • Limited joint movement due to pain

  • Tenderness

  • Swelling

Conservative management

  • Rest

  • Cryotherapy

  • NSAIDs

Surgical management

  • Sesamoidectomy

Physical therapy Management (before surgery)

  • Soft shock absorbing soles to relieve the pressure off the sesamoid bone.

  • Ultrasound

  • Moist heat

  • Soft tissue mobilization

  • Iontophoresis

  • Immobilization by padding, strapping and taping

Physical therapy Management (after surgery)

  • Rest

  • Immobilization with cast

  • Mobility exercises after 4 to 6 weeks

  • Active strengthening exercises.

At Valley Healing Hands, Brownsville, Texas, we provide the best physical therapy treatment for Sesamoiditis. We have highly qualified physical therapists who will be happy to help you with their expertise. Our patients are very happy and satisfied with our services. You can find what they have to say about us here and get connected to us as well. Our patients love us, you too will!

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