by Kristy Como Armand
Dr. Tyson Green, podiatric specialist with Center for Orthopaedics, was the first surgeon in the United States to perform a new type of foot surgery using the InCore TMT system from Zimmer Biomet. This technique, which Dr. Green helped develop over the course of a year, is an advanced type of arthrodesis, or surgical immobilization of a joint by fusion of the adjacent bones.
Dr. Green explains that the TMT (tarsometatarsal) joints are complex joints in the midfoot. These joints connect the tarsal bones, which form the arch of the foot, to the metatarsal bones, the bones of the forefoot that connect to the toe bones.
“The midfoot is critical to the overall function of the foot and ankle. It serves many different functions, including transferring weight from the heel to the front of the foot, or forefoot, when you walk,” explains Dr. Green. “The multiple small bones of the midfoot are aligned to provide push-off power when you walk and flexibility for your feet to adjust to different types of terrain. Over time, this repetitive stress can lead to arthritis in the midfoot joints, which is the wearing away of the cartilage cushion between the joints.”
Midfoot arthritis is more common in women, in people with diabetes, in people who have had an injury to the foot, and in people who have arthritis in other parts of their body. “Patients often describe their symptoms as a ‘stabbing pain’ that gets worse when standing or walking, and/or when wearing shoes, especially if the shoe rubs on the top of foot,” says Dr. Green.
The first line of treatment for this condition is conservative, including anti-inflammatory medications, injections, adjusting activity levels, and changing shoes. “For some, however, midfoot arthritis pain worsens and can even become debilitating, keeping them from enjoying their normal activities,” says Dr. Green. “When it reaches this stage, surgical treatment to fuse the damaged TMT joints provides an alternative, and the innovations provided by the InCore TMT system are enabling us to give our patients better outcomes after surgery.”
Dr. Green says the new system offers many advantages over previous TMT arthrodesis procedures. “The hardware used with other procedures was bulkier and patients often complained about discomfort when wearing certain types of shoes. With InCore TMT, the precision guided system helps create a more natural fusion. In addition, the design allows us to place the implant hardware more internal to the bone, resulting in less irritation. It’s overall just a more advanced technique.”
The first patient who benefitted from this new technology is very happy with her results and her quick recovery time. Several additional patients have now had the InCore TMT procedure and are also very pleased with their results.
“It’s been a very rewarding experience to see something I helped develop and test being used in surgery with our team in Lake Charles and benefitting our patients here.”
Dr. Green can be contacted at Center for Orthopaedics, (337) 721-7236.