What is Lisfranc injury?

Lisfranc injury occurs if the bones in the mid-foot are damaged or the ligaments supporting the mid-foot are torn. The severity of this injury can range from minor to severe, involving several joints and bones in the mid-foot. To learn to recognize and manage foot injuries, register for first aid class with a credible provider near you.

It is important to note that a Lisfranc injury can be mistaken as a minor sprain, especially if the injury is due to a straightforward twist and fall. Nevertheless, an injury to the Lisfranc joint is not a minor sprain that can be ignored. Always remember that it is a severe injury that can take several months to heal and would require surgery to restore functionality.

Overview on Lisfranc injury

The mid-foot can be affected if the bones are damaged or the ligaments are torn. Take note that injuries can vary from a minor injury that involves a single joint or a complex injury that affects several joints.

Lisfranc injury
One of the symptoms is pain that intensifies when walking or standing.

The injury tends to damage the cartilage of the mid-foot joint. The cartilage covers the ends of the bones in the joints in order to allow smooth movement. In severe injuries that are not treated with surgery, damage to the cartilage and stress on the mid-foot can result to arthritis and flatfoot. Even if surgery was successfully carried out, arthritis is likely to develop later in life.

What are the causes?

A Lisfranc fracture can occur during a simple twist and fall which is a low-impact injury. The injury is quite common among those who play soccer and football. It often occurs when an individual stumbles over the top of a foot that is flexed downwards.

In some cases, severe injuries can occur from direct trauma such as falling from a height. These high-impact injuries can result to multiple fractures and joint dislocation.

Symptoms

  • Upper part of the foot is sore and swollen
  • Bruising on both the top and base of the foot
  • Pain that intensifies when walking or standing

In case the usual treatment for a sprain could not relieve the swelling and pain, a doctor should be consulted.

Treatment

The treatment for a Lisfranc injury depends on its severity. In case there are no fractures, joint dislocation or torn ligaments, surgery might not be required. The non-surgical treatment involves the use of a non-weight bearing cast for 6 weeks. The individual should not place any weight on the affected foot during this period.

The doctor will require follow-up checkups and take regular X-rays to monitor if the foot is healing properly. During the course of treatment, if case the bones in the injured joint moved, surgery might be needed to restore the bones back in place.

It is important to note that surgery is recommended for all injuries that involve a fracture in the joints of the mid-foot or if there is abnormal positioning of the joints. The objective of surgery is to realign the joints and restore the broken bone fragments to its normal position.

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