What is mid-tarsal joint sprain?

Mid-tarsal joint sprain has been described as an injury involving the ligaments that hold the mid-tarsal joint as one. This injury triggers soreness in the exterior middle part of the affected foot. To learn to recognize and manage joint injuries including mid-tarsal joint sprain, register for first aid training here.

Symptom of mid-tarsal joint sprain

It is important to note that the symptoms and harshness of a mid-tarsal joint sprain usually depends on the ligament that is damaged. The pain is usually present on the exterior middle part of the foot and can be accompanied by swelling on the outside upper area of the joint.

The pain can be felt by the individual during certain movements of the foot depending on which of the two commonly damaged ligaments are involved.

Overview on mid-tarsal joint sprain

Mid-tarsal joint sprain

The pain is usually present on the exterior middle part of the foot and can be accompanied by swelling on the outside upper area of the joint.

An injury to the mid-tarsal joint is considered rare but can occur among those who engage in football, gymnastics as well as sports that involve jumping. The mid-tarsal joint is comprised of the talo-navicular joint amidst the talus and navicular bones as well as the calcaneo-cuboid joint that is situated amidst the cuboid bones and calcaneus on the exterior of the foot.

Always bear in mind that there are two ligaments that are usually damaged and produce slightly varying symptoms. The calcaneocuboid ligament is responsible for connecting the cuboid and calcaneus on the top of the foot. The other is the bifurcate ligament which is Y-shaped with 2 parts – calcaneocuboid ligament and calcaneonavicular ligament.

What is calcaneocuboid ligament injury?

The symptoms of a mid-tarsal joint sprain in which this ligament is torn will cause pain on the exterior middle part of the foot that can occur right after an ankle sprain or other similar injury to the ankle. The individual will experience pain and swelling on the top and exterior part of the foot. When the foot is inverted or turned in a way that the soles face inwards, it will trigger pain. In most cases, MRI will be performed to confirm a diagnosis while an X-ray will rule out a fracture.

The management of this type of mid-tarsal joint sprain includes rest. Taping the foot can also help support the joint while it heals. Application of an ice pack can reduce the inflammation and pain. Every application should last for 10 minutes every hour for the first 24-48 hours. The doctor might also prescribe NSAIDs to minimize the pain and inflammation along with orthotic inserts to correct biomechanical issues of the feet.

What is a bifurcate ligament injury?

This mid-tarsal joint sprain develops after a severe ankle injury along with a fracture involving a prominent part of the front area of the heel bone. The symptoms include pain on the exterior middle area of the foot that is aggravated by pointing the foot downwards and rolling it outwards.

The treatment involves immobilization of the foot under a cast for a span of 4 weeks. Surgery might be considered in severe cases in which the bones are displaced.