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Midfoot Arthritis

The midfoot consists of five bones which known as the cuboid, navicular, medial, intermediate and lateral cuneiform bones. The midfoot begins at the Chopart joint and ends at the Lisfranc (tarsometatarsal) joint.

What causes midfoot arthritis?

Although in some cases there is no obvious reason why someone develops midfoot arthritis, other than general wear and tear over a number of years, it can also happen as a result of a previous problem such as a bone fracture, dislocation or other damage in any of the midfoot bones or joints. It can also develop as a result of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or tibialis posterior tendon dysfunction.

What are the signs of midfoot arthritis?

Signs include aching when you walk, as well as stiffness in the foot. Some people have swelling on the top of the foot or other changes such as the foot becoming flatter (losing its natural arch). Wearing normal shoes can become a problem as the skin on top of the foot can begin to rub on the shoe.

If left untreated, stiffness and pain will usually become worse, making it more difficult to walk. Other joints nearby can also become affected.

How is midfoot arthritis diagnosed?

During your first appointment, you’ll have an opportunity to discuss your symptoms with Mr Heidari who will usually carry out a number of diagnostic tests. These may include an X-ray or CT scan to identify any damage to the joints.

What does treatment involve?

Not everyone with midfoot arthritis needs to have surgery and Mr Heidari will be able to advise you about the type of treatment that’s best for you.

  • In some cases, the pain can by managed by wearing modified shoes to take pressure away from the affected joints, along with stopping any activities that worsen your symptoms. Along with being prescribed anti-inflammatory painkillers (if advised by your doctor) and an exercise programme devised by one of our physiotherapists, this may be enough to manage the pain
  • Mr Heidari may also suggest that you have a course of steroid injections into the joint at regular intervals to help manage the pain

If you need to have surgery, this usually involves removing any bony lumps that have formed on top of the foot, along with foot fusion surgery of the painful joints.

This information is written as a guide to your treatment but it is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Please contact us for advice if you are worried about any aspect of your health or recovery.