Signs of a Midfoot Sprain

February 23, 2023
Signs of a Midfoot Sprain

Spraining the foot can be very painful, and in the moment, it can be hard to understand how it happened. What are some of the signs of a foot sprain, and in particular, a midfoot sprain? How long will recovery time take and what steps can you take to ensure optimal healing? The answers to these questions follow.

Midfoot Sprain: Signs to Look out For

A midfoot sprain is a sprain in the middle region of the foot, connecting the hindfoot (back) to the forefoot (front). The midfoot is made up of five bones and many ligaments that make up the arch of the foot. If one or more of these ligaments connecting the bones is injured, it leads to a sprain.

There are three grades of severity for spraining, from Grade I to Grade III. 

In a Grade I midfoot sprain, the ligaments are stretching and tearing on a microscopic level. Grade II sprains have partial tears of the ligaments. A Grade III sprain means the ligaments are completely torn. 

Midfoot sprains typically occur when the foot is moved or twisted in such a way that it produces extra strain. This is especially probable when planting and pushing off your feet like when playing sports. Midfoot sprains are especially common when playing basketball, football, soccer, or field hockey. This makes midfoot sprains a common condition that’s treated in sports medicine.

Midfoot sprain symptoms include pain in the middle and top of the foot, swelling and bruising, and pain with weight-bearing.

Midfoot Sprain Recovery Time: What to Expect

How long is the midfoot sprain recovery time? Recovery times can vary depending on the severity of the injury.

A mild midfoot sprain treated conservatively can heal in about four to six weeks. More severe sprains may require at least three months to recover the stability and flexibility of the foot. Full recovery, including a return to high-impact running and jumping, can take three to six months.

If you have an injury that’s consistent with a midfoot sprain or injury, the first step is to rest the foot. If the pain is especially extreme, consider crutches. Ice the affected area intermittently throughout the day. Elevating the foot as much as possible should also decrease swelling.

If the pain or swelling does not go down, make an appointment to see your doctor. After a physical examination, your doctor may recommend an MRI or x-ray to confirm the midfoot is sprained. This also should rule out worse problems such as a bone fracture in the foot.

Most midfoot sprains can be treated without the need for surgery. Usually, surgery is only required for more serious midfoot injuries, such as a Lisfranc injury. Lisfranc injuries are characterized by one or more displaced metatarsal bones in the midfoot. It’s named after French surgeon Jacques Lisfranc de St. Martin, who first diagnosed it.

For less severe cases, resting the leg and using crutches to keep weight off should be sufficient in healing. Aim to keep the foot as immobilized as possible with a boot, and ice it intermittently throughout the day. 

Pain and inflammation can be relieved with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen. As a preventative measure after the injury, physical therapy can stretch and strengthen the foot to prevent a midfoot sprain from reoccurring.

Get Your Midfoot Sprain Treated with Diablo Foot and Ankle

The sooner a midfoot sprain can be diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated. Prevent bigger strains from occurring. Don’t fight through the pain or ignore it. If the problem persists or worsens, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Diablo Foot and Ankle has board-certified podiatric specialists who can help with foot sprains or any other related foot problems.

Common Podiatry Questions

What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.

What does a Podiatrist treat?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.

What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?

A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.

Where are your Podiatry clinics located?

At Diablo Foot & Ankle, we treat our foot and ankle patients in two main clinic locations in Walnut Creek and in Antioch California. Dr. Eman Elmi and Dr. Shayan Esspoor are Board Certified Podiatrists who specialize in the treatment of foot and ankle disorders.

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