Biomechanical study of tarsometatarsal joint fusion using finite element analysis

Yan Wang, Zengyong Li, Ming Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Complications of surgeries in foot and ankle bring patients with severe sufferings. Sufficient understanding of the internal biomechanical information such as stress distribution, contact pressure, and deformation is critical to estimate the effectiveness of surgical treatments and avoid complications. Foot and ankle is an intricate and synergetic system, and localized intervention may alter the functions to the adjacent components. The aim of this study was to estimate biomechanical effects of the TMT joint fusion using comprehensive finite element (FE) analysis. A foot and ankle model consists of 28 bones, 72 ligaments, and plantar fascia with soft tissues embracing all the segments. Kinematic information and ground reaction force during gait were obtained from motion analysis. Three gait instants namely the first peak, second peak and mid-stance were simulated in a normal foot and a foot with TMT joint fusion. It was found that contact pressure on plantar foot increased by 0.42%, 19% and 37%, respectively after TMT fusion compared with normal foot walking. Navico-cuneiform and fifth meta-cuboid joints sustained 27% and 40% increase in contact pressure at second peak, implying potential risk of joint problems such as arthritis. Von Mises stress in the second metatarsal bone increased by 22% at midstance, making it susceptible to stress fracture. This study provides biomechanical information for understanding the possible consequences of TMT joint fusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1394-1400
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Arthritis
  • Biomechanics
  • Contact pressure
  • Finite element analysis
  • Tarsometatarsal joints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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