The Lisfranc joint is the area of the foot where the bones that extend to the toes (metartsal bones) connect to the bones in the arch (taurus). This area of the foot (middle region) helps to stabilize the arch and is used while walking.
An injury to the Lisfranc joint can potentially include bone fractures, torn ligaments and damaged cartilage. Nerves and arteries at the top of the foot can also be affected. Lisfranc joint injuries can range from simple to complex. Pain might be experienced in the whole foot or it can be limited to the middle region of the foot.
An injured Lisfranc joint will most likely require surgical treatment if the joint is unstable or displaced. A fracture, fully-torn ligament, or both will need to be repaired surgically in order to realign the joint and restore any fractured bones to a normal position.
Diagnosis Of A Lisfranc Injury
After a physical exam, a foot specialist will order an x-ray of the injured foot. A CT scan or a MIR might also be ordered to better assess the extent of injury. A patient who has broken bones, completely torn ligaments, or bones that are out of alignment will probably need surgery.
Lisfranc Injury Surgery
The most common surgery performed on Lisfranc injuries is known as an Internal Fixation. During this procedure, bones are placed back into alignment. Screws, metal plates and Kirschner wires may be used reattach and realign bones. Some or all of the hardware used may be removed in a follow up surgical procedure. Damaged ligaments are also be repaired during this procedure.
The other type of surgical procedure for this injury is known as a Joint Fusion. Bones are fused together if damage is so severe it can’t be repaired by an Internal Fixation procedure. During a joint fusion procedure, cartilage is removed from the surfaces of the joint. The bones should grow together, which eliminates arthritis.
Your foot surgeon will discuss which type of surgery you need based on the severity of your injury and will explain possible complications that can occur after surgery. Patients who damaged cartilage when the foot was injured may eventually develop arthritis in the area.
A patient’s foot will be placed in a splint, boot or cast. The foot should be kept in an elevated position to reduce swelling. Weight can not be placed on the injured foot for approximately 2 to 3 months. After this period of time, an x-ray will be taken and assessed to confirm that a patient can start to place some weight on the injured foot while it is in the boot. A foot surgeon will determine appropriate distances that can be walked and the amount of weight that can be put on the foot during physical therapy. Activity modification may be recommended for some patients to avoid further damage to their foot.
Contact A Foot & Ankle Surgeon
If you feel like you have injured or possibly sprained your foot, it’s recommended that you see a foot specialist right away to make sure you haven’t severely injured the area. Hopefully it’s just a sprain. If you have significantly injured your foot, you don’t want to take the risk of increasing the severity of an injury by walking on the foot.
Make an appointment at The Center for Musculoskeletal with a highly experienced podiatrist to get an accurate diagnosis, evaluation and the best options for treatment.