Lisfranc Fracture



A Lisfranc fracture occurs in the bones of the midfoot. The fracture results from dropping something heavy on the foot or twisting the foot during sports or an accident. If you suspect you have a Lisfranc fracture, you should see your podiatrist for prompt treatment. Some Lisfranc fractures can heal with casting and physical therapy. Bones that have moved out of place typically require surgery..


The Lisfranc joint is located where the small bones of the midfoot (tarsals) and long bones of the forefoot (metatarsals) meet. The Lisfranc joint adjusts and regulates the position of the forefoot based on the position of the hindfoot.


Lisfranc fractures can occur if a heavy object is dropped on the foot or if the foot forcefully twists. This can result from motor vehicle crashes and contact sports. A bone in the joint may break or be forced from its position (dislocate).


Lisfranc fractures can cause pain when you stand. You may not be able to stand on your foot or walk. Your foot may swell and bruise. Your foot may appear wider than usual. A Lisfranc fracture is commonly mistaken for a sprained foot.


It is important to contact your podiatrist to receive a correct diagnosis and treatment. Untreated Lisfranc fractures can lead to foot deformities and chronic foot problems. You should tell your doctor about your symptoms and the events leading up to your injury.

Your podiatrist will review your medical history and conduct an examination. You will be asked to move or position your foot so your doctor can see how it is functioning. Imaging studies such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are used to confirm the fracture location and identify dislocated bones.


The treatment that you receive depends on the extent and severity of your injury. A combination of non-surgical treatments is used if the bones did not dislocate. A cast is placed on the foot to keep it in the proper position while the fracture heals. During this time, you will need to keep weight off your foot and walk with crutches. When the cast is removed, physical therapists will teach you exercises to help you gain motion and strength.


Surgery is used to place dislocated bones in the correct position and stabilize the fracture while it heals. Surgical hardware, such as pins, screws, or wires, are placed during surgery to hold the bones in alignment. You will wear a cast and use crutches for about six to eight weeks. After the surgical hardware is removed, you will wear a rigid walking brace or shoe. You may participate in physical therapy to regain foot and ankle motion.


Recovery is individualized and depends on the extent of your condition and the treatment that you received. Your podiatrist will let you know what to expect.


It is important to follow your podiatrist’s instructions for keeping weight off your foot or refraining from certain activities while your fracture heals. You should perform your physical therapy exercises at home as instructed.


It is not uncommon for arthritis to develop after a Lisfranc fracture, requiring additional treatment.

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