Lisfranc’s injury

Lisfranc’s injury

Fact Checked

Lisfranc’s injury involves dislocation or fracture in the midfoot region. During assessment, the doctor should not miss the injury since it can result to long-term damage.

The Lisfranc’s joint represents the tarsometatarsal joints in which the small tarsal bones in the midfoot link with the metatarsals in the foot. The injury is rare in sports but if not properly treated, it can lead to serious consequences. Once a midfoot sprain is likely, Lisfranc’s injury is possible. The usual cause of the injury is stepping into a small-sized hole which causes a strong twisting force with significant body weight on top. Additionally, it can also occur in vehicular accidents.

What are the indications?

The usual indication of Lisfranc’s injury is midfoot pain along with difficulty placing any weight on the foot. There might be minimal bone deformity but not in all cases.

Lisfranc's injury
The usual indication of Lisfranc’s injury is midfoot pain along with difficulty placing any weight on the foot.

Swelling is likely to develop on the top part of the foot and there is tenderness over the joint region. If the individual pushes up onto the toes or performing the calf raise exercise, there is an increase in the pain.

Management of Lisfranc’s injury

Once an individual is likely to have Lisfranc’s injury or a midtarsal sprain, seek immediate medical attention. A delay in treatment of the injury can lead to permanent damage.

The doctor takes an X-ray of the foot while in a weight-bearing position. Nevertheless, the X-ray cannot detect this injury. If the doctor suspects an injury, the doctor requests other tests such as a bone scan or MRI to confirm a diagnosis.

Once confirmed, a plaster cast with a toe plate extending beneath the toes is placed below the knee to provide immobilization to the joint. Oftentimes, the bones should be fixed with wires or pins.

Generally, the treatment is based on the severity of the injury. In some cases, there is a need for precise reduction of the bones. In such instances, the doctor places a cast for 4-6 weeks. After this period, a rehabilitation program for the foot and lower leg is started to restore strength, mobility and proprioception.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on Lisfranc’s injury is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage joint injuries, register for a first aid and CPR course with Victoria First Aid.

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