A Lisfranc fracture is an injury affecting the middle foot. It is made up of the bones and ligaments that connect the metatarsals to the midfoot. The bones in the complex give the foot its arch. The bones are held in place by ligaments that stretch both across and down the foot.
A Lisfranc fracture can often be confused with a simple sprain, as both injuries occur in similar ways. Lisfranc fractures can happen through simple low-energy injuries, such as twisting the foot when falling. It is commonly seen in football players who stumble over their flexed feet while running.
Lisfranc fractures can also be caused by more serious trauma. Falling from a great height can cause an extensive Lisfranc injury. Dropping something on the foot while it is flexed may also cause fractures or dislocations in the joints. Being involved in an automobile or motorcycle accident is another cause of Lisfranc injuries.
Common symptoms of Lisfranc injuries include:
- A swollen and painful foot, especially on the top
- Pain that worsens when standing or walking
- Inability to walk without an aid, such as crutches
- Bruising on the top or bottom of the foot
Basic treatment for a foot injury immediately after the injury has occurred is rest, ice, and elevation. Walking on the injured foot should be avoided. A doctor should examine the foot as soon as possible.
The quicker treatment is initiated, the easier it is to reduce the fractures and sometimes an open surgical procedure can be avoided.