Facts about Lisfranc Injuries

Lisfranc injury

If you follow football you may have heard that Caroline Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton, was put on the disabled list for a Lisfranc injury. While less common than other sports injuries, we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center think it’s important to make information about this problem available, especially in the fall since football players are in a high-risk category.

FACT: The Lisfranc joint is located where the long bones of your toes (metatarsals) connect with the bones of the arch of your foot (tarsals). A ligament or tough band of tissue that joins two of these bones is called the Lisfranc ligament.

FACT: Lisfranc injuries can occur in different ways, some of which may occur simultaneously. These include:

  • Sprain—overstretching of the Lisfranc or other ligaments in the middle part of the foot
  • Fracture—this can be either a full break of a bone in the Lisfranc joint or an avulsion fracture which occurs when a small piece of bone is pulled off
  • Dislocation—the bones in the Lisfranc joint are forced out of their normal position

FACT: These types of injuries can happen as the result of trauma, such as a car accident or a heavy object falling on the midfoot, playing football or another contact sport, running or horseback riding. Sometimes, however, it can be caused by something as simple as missing a step on the stairs.

FACT: Signs that you may have injured your Lisfranc joint or ligament include:

  • Pain in the midfoot when pressure is applied, like standing
  • Swelling
  • Bruising or blistering on the arch or top of the foot
  • Widening of the foot
  • Difficulty bearing weight on the injured foot

FACT: If you notice these types of symptoms, don’t take a “wait and see” approach. Contact our Long Beach office immediately by calling, (562) 420-9800. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas will want to examine your foot and will also order x-rays or other imaging studies to determine if the Lisfranc has been injured. In some cases, emergency surgery may be necessary. Otherwise, conservative treatments such as immobilizing the foot with a cast, oral medications and physical therapy can be prescribed.