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Dorsal Interosseous Muscles of Foot Strain: Causes, Treatment, Recovery Time

About Dorsal Interosseous Muscles of Foot & Its Functions

The dorsal interosseous muscles in the foot are four in number.1 The unique thing about these muscles is that they are attached at two places instead of the conventional one. These muscles stem from metatarsal shafts, which are a part of the metatarsal bones, which are situated behind the bones of the toes and are attached to the bones near the ankle and the base of the bones of the toes. The function of dorsal interosseous muscles of foot is to help the lumbricals extend the joints of the toes during flexion of the MTP joints. These muscles are innervated by the deep branch of the lateral plantar nerve. Blood is supplied to these muscles by the dorsal artery which extends from the anterior tibial artery and branches into the deep plantar nerves in the feet.

Dorsal Interosseous Muscles of Foot Strain

What Causes Dorsal Interosseous Muscles Of Foot To Get Strained Or Injured?

The dorsal interosseous muscles strains can be classified into stable and unstable strains as is the case with most of the strains. In majority of the cases, dorsal interosseous muscle of foot strains are stable strains, which are caused as a result of overuse and overexertion of the dorsal interosseous muscles. These strains may cause severe sharp pains on the top or beneath the foot. If the dorsal interosseous muscles of the foot strain is acute, then it can cause the patient to have difficulties with bearing weight on the affected extremity. There will also be swelling and tenderness in the affected foot. The foot will have extremely limited range of motion. If the patient tries to pronate and abduct the injured foot, it will result in excruciating pain. Now coming to the question, what can cause this type of injury, the answer is there are numerous causes. Dorsal interosseous muscles of the foot strain can be caused due to a crush injury to the foot while playing sports like football or hockey. Such injuries result in damage to the soft tissues and may cause a condition called as compartment syndrome and may lead to circulation problems in the injured foot. Another cause of the injury is forced abduction or adduction of the foot. This type of injury also causes damage to the soft tissue. This can occur after a fall on the foot from a height or a twisting motion of the foot while playing, excessive sprinting and running and the like. Dorsal interosseous muscle of the foot strains are difficult to diagnose due to the location of the muscles, although with prompt treatment the prognosis for a full recovery from the injury is quite bright.

How Is Dorsal Interosseous Muscles Of Foot Strain Treated?

Conservative Treatment is the way to go for treating dorsal interosseous muscle of the foot strain. This includes following the RICE protocol, which means rest, ice, compression and elevation of the injured foot. Using ice and heat packs are also helpful. The patient may also take an antiinflammatory to reduce pain and inflammation. The patient may be put in complete nonweightbearing to the affected foot for as long as four to six weeks to allow the strain to heal. The immobilization can be done by way of cast. After a period of immobilization, the patient will be asked to do therapy for strengthening and range of motion exercises to regain lost strength and motion. Once the pain associated with dorsal interosseous muscles of the foot is controlled then gradual return to partial weightbearing and then to full weightbearing will be recommended.

What Is The Recovery Time For Dorsal Interosseous Muscles Of Foot Strain?

The normal recovery period for milder dorsal interosseous muscles of the foot strain is around four weeks, but in cases of severe strains full recovery may take up to 12 weeks before a return to activity be contemplated after dorsal interosseous muscle strain. Return to sports following dorsal interosseous muscles of the foot strain will normally take anywhere between 10 to 12 weeks.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 30, 2019

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