Larry G Wells, DPM
Location and Office HoursFoot & Ankle Clinic
Corry, PA 16407
- Corry Memorial Hospital
What are the medial tarsometatarsal (TMT) joints?
There are several small joints along the arch of the foot called the medial tarsometatarsal (TMT) joints. The purpose of the TMT joints is to adjust to uneven surfaces when walking, absorb energy during each step and transfer the forward motion of the hindfoot and ankle when walking to the forefoot for push-off from the toes.
What causes arthritis of the midfoot?
In arthritis of the midfoot, the joints of the midfoot can begin to wear out for a variety of reasons. If they are injured by a fall, a twist or a crush accident, progressive degeneration of the joints can begin. Sometimes an individual’s foot anatomy places more pressure on one portion of the foot, causing a joint to wear. In addition, small amounts of loosening of the joints or slight flattening of the foot can begin the degeneration toward arthritis.
How can I prevent repeat ankle sprain injury?
While it is common to think that to prevent ankle sprains you should focus solely on strengthening the muscles around your ankles, in fact – and maybe more importantly – you must also concentrate your efforts on improving the strength of the muscles around your hips. Research demonstrates that when you sprain an ankle, not only do the connective tissues that support it become loose and less responsive but it also shuts down the butt muscles – decreasing the ability to maintain balance and proper lower body alignment. As a result, the lack of ligament support and decreased balance increases the risk of reinjuring your ankle. Without proper reconditioning, over time the hip muscles become less and less active and do not help protect the ankle, making you more susceptible to further ankle sprains and other injuries.
The most effective way to recondition your ankles and prevent future sprains is by doing exercises that wake-up and strengthen key muscles around the hips – i.e. butt muscles – as well as those that challenge your ability to balance on one leg and maintain proper alignment.
Incorporate the following exercises into the beginning of your exercise routine as part of your warm-up, performing 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions for each:
- Ball Bridge
- Tube Walking Side to Side
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- Single Leg Balance with Reach (progress from standing on the floor, to standing on a towel, to standing on a pillow cushion to enhance difficulty and challenge to the muscles around the ankle and hip)