Lisfranc Injuries Treatment

The Foot & Ankle Center
at Modern Orthopedics of New Jersey

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Paramus, NJ 07652


2025 Hamburg Turnpike
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3799 US-46
#207, Parsippany, NJ 07054

Lisfranc Injuries Treatment

Named after French surgeon Jacques Lisfranc de St. Martin, the Lisfranc joint is a complex midfoot grouping of bones and ligaments that stabilizes the foot’s arch and plays an essential role in walking, jumping and running. Lisfranc injuries are often highly painful and can have a major impact on stability and mobility.

If you are experiencing severe midfoot pain following a traumatic event involving the foot, a Lisfranc injury may be the culprit. Learn more below about the anatomy, diagnosis, and treatment of this type of injury:

Understanding Lisfranc Injuries

A Lisfranc injury is broadly classified as any injury that impacts the bones and/or ligaments of the Lisfranc joint (sprain, fracture, or dislocation). These types of injuries range from mild to severe and may involve anywhere from a single structure to multiple joints, bones, and ligaments.

Anatomy of the Lisfranc Joint

The Lisfranc joint complex is a cluster of small bones in the midfoot. Located where the metatarsal bones (the long bones that bridge to the toes) meet the rest of the foot, it also involves the cuboid bone and cuneiform bones (medial, middle, and lateral) as well as ligaments that function to hold the joint together. Among other things, the Lisfranc joint stabilizes the arch of the foot, is responsible for transferring loads through the foot during movement, and helps the foot move properly.

Types of Lisfranc Injuries

A Lisfranc injury typically occurs due to direct or indirect trauma to the foot. It is common in athletes who play contact sports like soccer and football, but it can also happen to people of any age and fitness level as the result of a sudden accident.

The three main types of Lisfranc injuries are:

  • Lisfranc Sprain – One of the Lisfranc ligaments is stretched or torn.
  • Lisfranc Fracture – One of the bones that make up the lisfranc joint breaks.
  • Lisfranc Dislocation – One of the Lisfranc bones moves out of place from the joint.

Diagnosing Lisfranc Injuries

Lisfranc injuries are often mistaken for more common ankle or foot injuries, but proper diagnosis is essential to the design of an effective treatment plan.

Common symptoms of a Lisfranc injury include:

  • Swelling and bruising on top of the foot as well as on the sole of the foot beneath the arch
  • Pain and tenderness in the midfoot region
  • Increased (possibly severe) pain with weight-bearing
  • Inability to walk
  • Instability experienced with motion of foot
  • Bruising of foot and ankle noticed

Diagnostic Methods for Lisfranc Injuries

Your surgeon will likely diagnose a Lisfranc injury and distinguish it from other injuries with similar symptoms using a combination of physical examination techniques and imaging tests. They will ask questions about how the injury occurred, perform a visual inspection of the injured foot, evaluate pain, stability, and range of motion of your foot and ankle joints. An X-ray, CT scan, MRI (or a combination of these tests) may be ordered to understand the extent of the injury in more detail.

When To Seek Medical Advice

Seek immediate medical advice when there is substantial pain following a traumatic event. It is important to address urgently as delaying in doing so can lead to delay in treatment. Lisfranc injuries are unlikely to heal on their own and can result in persistent pain, instability, arthritis, collapse of the arch, and possible disability if left untreated.

The world-class surgical team at Modern Orthopaedics of New Jersey treats a wide variety of different Lisfranc injuries with expertise. Call our office today to book an appointment!

Treatment Options for Lisfranc Injuries

Lisfranc injuries can be treated non-surgically or surgically, depending on the type and severity of the injury.

Non-Surgical Treatments

In sprains where Lisfranc ligaments are not fully torn, immobilization in a cast or walking boot is common. Weight-bearing is usually gradually resumed after approximately a 6-8 week period along with aggressive physical therapy following it.

Surgical Options for Lisfranc Injuries

In cases where complete Lisfranc ligament tears, fractures, or dislocations have occurred, Lisfranc surgery is often indicated. Possible Lisfranc surgeries include:

  • Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF) – Bones are surgically realigned and held in place with hardware, as necessary.
  • Midfoot Fusion – When damage is beyond repair, fusion surgery may facilitate the healing together of bones so there is no longer a joint between them. This still allows for great functional outcome in most cases. 

Rehabilitation and Recovery

The amount of rehabilitation and recovery needed after a Lisfranc injury depends on its severity. Non-surgical rehabilitation may take as little as 6 weeks, but can also be as long as 3 months or more before you’ll regain full mobility after a severe injury and surgical procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the recovery time for Lisfranc injury treatment?

Depending on the severity of the injury and the type of treatment received, recovery after a Lisfranc injury can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months or more.

Will I be able to participate in sports after recovery?

The goal of Lisfranc injury treatment is to allow patients to return to their pre-injury activity level. That being said, pain may persist for some patients even after treatment.

How long do the results of the treatment last?

The results of effective Lisfranc injury treatment should last a lifetime.

What are the main risks associated with the treatment?

Like mosts other orthopaedics surgeries are very low. The risks associated with Lisfranc surgery include infection, arthritis, nerve damage, and other internal damage. Speak with your doctor for more specifics.

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