What is a Lisfranc Fracture?

Lisfranc Fracture

A Lisfranc fracture can happen when one of the bones in the metatarsal region of the foot becomes displaced from the tarsus. Five separate bones come together to form the arch of the foot. These bones include the cuboid, navicular, and three different cuneiform bones. The curvation of the foot plays a significant role in support of the lower leg. The arch absorbs a lot of the shock that comes from walking, running, and other weight-bearing activities on the foot. If a Lisfranc injury takes place, this can be painful and might lead to some long-term complications. Fortunately, there are several treatment options for this foot injury.

How Does a Lisfranc Injury Occur?

In this traumatic injury, the ligaments between the five metatarsal bones are often damaged as well. The ligaments that connect these bones are commonly referred to as the Lisfranc ligaments.

A Lisfranc fracture takes place when an excessive loading force is applied to the midfoot area, directly beneath the metatarsal bones. Some of the most common ways that a Lisfranc injury can occur include:

  • A crush injury when a heavy object collapses on top of the foot.
  • A pedestrian injury when someone’s foot is run over by a car or a truck.
  • Fall injuries from a great height when an individual lands directly on the midfoot.
  • Plant injuries during sports when athletes rotate on their foot excessively.

Auto accidents and industrial accidents are the most common causes of Lisfranc dislocation. Following the incident, it is essential to make the correct diagnosis quickly. This will ensure that everyone receives appropriate medical care.

Diagnosis of a Lisfranc Fracture

Following the incident, there are several symptoms that people with a Lisfranc fracture will notice. These include pain in the middle of the foot, a discomfort that gets worse with movement, and swelling of the midfoot. If these symptoms develop, individuals should seek medical care as quickly as possible.

Once at the doctor’s office, he or she will take a look at the foot in a physical exam. The doctor might test the flexibility or range of motion of the foot. The physician will also look for bruising underneath the arch of the foot, which is common in Lisfranc injuries.

Next, the doctor will order x-ray images of the foot from multiple angles. If the injury took place in a high-energy setting, there would be deformities of the bones of the midfoot. Sometimes, these deformities are challenging to spot. If the x-ray images are clean, but the doctor still thinks that a Lisfranc injury is present, CT scans or MRI images might also be ordered.

Treatment of a Lisfranc Injury

Once the fracture has been diagnosed, the doctor will need to decide if surgery is necessary. Typically, this decision is made based on the degree of the fracture and dislocation of the metatarsal bones. If the bones have not moved out of position, then the doctor will probably apply a cast to the foot for about six weeks and recommend abstinence from weight-bearing activities.

If the bones have been dislocated significantly, or if the blood supply of the foot has been damaged by the fracture, then surgery might be recommended. During this surgical procedure, the bones will be moved back into their proper position and held in place using either screws or surgical K-wire. After this, the foot will still need to be placed in a cast for several weeks.

Once the cast is removed, the foot will probably feel stiff. Physical therapy can help individuals regain strength and flexibility in their foot. Weightbearing activity will resume and, typically within a few months, most people who have suffered a Lisfranc fracture will make a full recovery.

Watch YouTube Video: Lisfranc Injury – Everything You Need to Know. In the following video, Dr. Nabil Ebraheim discusses a Lisfranc injury and explains everything you need to know about the injury.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. A Lisfranc fracture is a severe foot injury that might require surgical repair. If your loved one has suffered a foot injury due to the negligence of another person or entity, contact me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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Citation of Photo: The image used on this page was found first on Pixabay and has been used here with permission.

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