Lisfranc Injuries

What is the lisfranc joint?

The Lisfranc joint is the point at which the metatarsal bones (long bones that lead up to the toes) and the tarsal bones (bones in the arch) connect. It is the joint in the middle of the foot. This is joint is important in maintaining proper alignment and strength of the joint. Lisfranc ligaments hold the bones at this joint together.

Causes and Symptoms

  • Bones in the midfoot are broken
  • Ligaments that support the midfoot are torn
  • Damage to cartilage of midfoot bones
  • Can happen due to a simple twist or fall
  • Results in the swelling of a foot
  • Pain in midfoot when pressure is applied
  • Bruising on the arch of the foot
  • Abnormal widening of the foot

Diagnosis

The sooner this injury is treated, the less damage is done to surrounding bones, ligaments, and cartilage. The surgeon will examine the foot and ask questions on how the injury occurred. X-rays or other imaging devices are necessary to fully evaluate the injury and its severity.

Types of Injuries

Lisfranc Injuries

Sprains- this is the stretching of a ligament resulting in a weakened foot

Fractures- a break in the bones in the Lisfranc joint

Dislocations- the bones of the Lisfranc joint have been forced to move out of their normal positions

Treatment

If symptoms of a Lisfranc Injury occur consult a foot and ankle surgeon immediately. Treatment varies based on the severity of the injury.

Immobilization– foot is placed in a CAM walker or cast, crutches may be used to avoid weight and pressure on the foot

Oral medication– Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, help reduce the pain and inflammation.

Ice and elevation– Reduce swelling by icing the affected area and keeping the foot elevated

Physical therapy– After the swelling and pain have subsided, physical therapy may be prescribed to rebuild strength

Surgical treatment may be needed if injury cannot be fixed using immobilization and physical therapy.