Midtarsal Joint Sprain

Understanding Tarsal Sprains

A tarsal sprain is an injury to one of the ligaments in the midtarsal joint, a complex of Midtarsal Joint Sprain bones and ligaments near the ankle. It is a common, painful condition that can result from excessive stretching, tearing, and twisting of the midtarsal joint. If left untreated, a tarsal sprain can cause long-term complications and significantly impair mobility. Understanding the cause, symptoms, and treatments for tarsal sprains is essential for those who suffer from this condition.

The Causes of Midtarsal Joint Sprain

Midtarsal Joint Sprain is a common condition affecting runners, and results when the ligaments between the tarsometatarsal joints are overstretched or torn.  Causes of this injury can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the structure of the foot, sport or running related activities, foot position and shoes.  Anatomy of the foot, improper stretching, overuse of the midfoot, trauma, and excessively tight foot wear can all lead to Midtarsal Joint Sprain. The midfoot can become vulnerable to injury when it is put under excessive stress and strain due to an imbalance in the gait cycle or uneven pressure of the bodyweight.  Furthermore, if the foot is overused, the risk of injury to the midtarsal joint increases greatly. Activities that involve activities such as running and jumping may also increase the risk of injury, as more stress and strain is placed on the foot. Poor footwear can also put the joint at risk, as a lack of support can cause instability and increase the risk of injury.

Treating a Midtarsal Joint Sprain

The midtarsal joint sprain is an injury that requires proper diagnosis and treatment to prevent long-term pain and disability. Treatment of a midtarsal joint sprain should include an accurate diagnosis, followed by a careful plan to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation and to strengthen the joint. This may involve rest, ice, compression, elevation, gentle range of motion exercises, strength exercises, manual therapy, and targeted pain medication. Physical therapy can also be prescribed to help stabilize the joint, strengthen the surrounding muscles and ligaments and increase the ability to walk without pain. Surgery is generally reserved for severe cases that fail to respond to conservative measures, such as plastic or joint reconstruction to restore joint motion and relieve pain. Rehabilitation should progress gradually to restore stability, improve strength and increase physical activity levels. Good, consistent follow-up and monthly visits with a physician or physical therapist is also important, to ensure compliance and to monitor the healing process. With a proper diagnosis and detailed treatment plan tailored to the individual, a midtarsal joint sprain can be treated, and healing can occur.

Tips for Preventing a Midtarsal Joint Sprain

A midtarsal joint sprain can be debilitating, limiting an individual’s ability to move their feet freely. While initially telling signs of this injury can be hard to identify and the process of healing can be long and complex, prevention is possible. Implementing a series of best practices and proper techniques can increase the chances of avoiding a midtarsal joint sprain. This article will provide essential tips for ensuring full joint health and stability of the midtarsal area.

The midtarsal joint is a relatively rare area for injuries, yet those who partake in athletics or physically active lifestyles are highly susceptible to midtarsal issues. Proper warm-up before activity and effective stretching are key ingredients in preventing midtarsal joint sprains and avoiding movement-related injuries. The ability to safely perform exercises and stay aware of position, posture, and alignment during movement are paramount in protecting your feet, particularly the midtarsal joint.

Additionally, it is important to wear the proper footwear, fit for your sports activities or daily activities. This is especially true for those participating in high-impact and speed sports such as sprinting and long-distance running. It is important to take the time to ensure that your shoes are correctly fitted and the right size to prevent a midtarsal joint sprain.

Another factor to consider is proper nutrition and diet. Specified nutritional choices are beneficial not only during the physical activity but also in aiding an individual’s recovery from a midtarsal joint sprain. Eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help strengthen the muscles and joints for preventive purposes. Quality supplements may be recommended for an individual’s specific needs, however, it is always important to speak to a healthcare professional first before taking any supplements.

Ultimately, taking a proactive approach to midtarsal joint health is the best way to prevent sprains and other related joint issues. Building exercises around strength and stability of the ankle, toes, and midtarsal joint through the use of optimal mobility and stretching techniques can help prevent midtarsal joint sprains. Understanding and incorporating the right precautions are key components of keeping the joints healthy and strong.

When to See a Doctor for a Midtarsal Joint Sprain

It is important to be aware of when you should consider seeking professional medical care for a midtarsal joint sprain. In any attempts at self-treatment of this type of injury, it is important to be mindful of the importance of caution and the ability to recognize when medical evaluation and further intervention is necessary. For instance, if a sprained midtarsal joint does not improve within seven to ten days or if you experience persistent pain, ongoing swelling, or difficulty walking, you should consider seeking medical attention or consulting a physician for a comprehensive assessment. In some cases, you may need to be evaluated for a more serious ligament injury, or for surgical consultation or intervention. If the midtarsal joint sprain is the result of a traumatic event that involved high-impact forces, it is essential to receive the proper medical attention to ensure that more serious injuries have not taken place. The same can be said if the initial period of self-treatment and conservative measures is not providing adequate relief. As an individual, in all cases, it is important to recognize what your body is telling you, as this will often dictate when it is time to enlist the assistance of a medical professional in the management of midtarsal joint sprain.


SportsMD Virtual Care

Talk to a Sports Specialized Doctor anywhere you are by phone or video.

Learn More

Orthopedic Virtual Care