A lisfranc injury, also referred to as a midfoot injury, occurs when the bones in the midfoot are broken or ligaments that support the midfoot are torn.
The feet contain nearly one-fourth of all the bones in your body, which provide you with support and movement. There are 26 bones in one foot: 14 toe bones, five long metatarsal bones and seven tarsal bones.
The midfoot is the middle region of the foot, where the arch is on the top of your foot. The function of the midfoot is critical for walking as it transfers the forces generated by the calf muscles to the front of the foot.
A twisting fall can break or dislocate this cluster of bones and ligaments in your midfoot. Injuries vary from affecting only a single joint in the midfoot to a complex injury that harms multiple joints and ligaments.
- Twist and fall
- Fall from a height
- Car accident
What does a Lisfranc fracture feel like?
- Pain that worsens with standing or walking
- Bruising on the top and bottom of the foot
- Top of foot is swollen and in pain
To determine whether you have a midfoot injury, your physician will ask you for a complete medical history, have you describe your symptoms and how the injury occurred and conduct a physical examination. An X-ray, MRI or CT scan may be necessary to rule out other problems.
Can a Lisfranc injury heal on its own?
Treatment depends on the cause and severity of your injury.
Nonsurgical treatment is possible if there are no fractures or dislocations in the joint and the ligaments are not completely torn. During treatment, a patient will wear a cast or boot for six weeks before progressing to weight bearing in a removable boot or orthotic. Regular visits with your orthopedic specialist will ensure proper healing.
Lisfranc surgery is necessary when there is a fracture present in the joints of the midfoot or if the joints are out of place. Surgery will realign the joints. The type of surgery depends on the severity of the injury.
Lisfranc injury recovery time
After surgery, non-weight bearing is necessary for six to eight weeks in a cast or cast boot. Weight-bearing begins when your X-rays show the bones are healing correctly. Your surgeon will let you know how long you are allowed to walk and when.
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