Midfoot arthritis

Amar Patel, Smita Rao, Deborah Nawoczenski, Adolf S. Flemister, Benedict DiGiovanni, Judith F. Baumhauer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Midfoot arthritis is a common cause of significant pain and disability. Although the medial tarsometatarsal (TMT) joints provide <7° of sagittal plane motion, the more mobile lateral fourth and fifth TMT joints provide balance and accommodation on uneven ground. These small constrained TMT joints also provide stability and translate the forward propulsion motion of the hindfoot and ankle joint to the forefoot metatarsophalangeal joints from heel rise to toe-off. Posttraumatic degeneration is the primary cause of midfoot arthritis, although primary degeneration and inflammatory conditions can also affect this area. The result is a painful midfoot that can no longer effectively transmit load from the hindfoot to the forefoot. Shoe modifications and orthotic inserts are the mainstay of nonsurgical management. Successful management of midfoot arthritis with orthoses is predicated on achieving adequate joint stabilization while still allowing function. Surgical intervention typically involves arthrodesis of the medial midfoot, although the best treatment of the more mobile lateral column is a subject of debate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-425
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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