Lisfranc’s (Midfoot) Joint Injury | Studio Podiatry | Podiatrist & Orthotics | Camp Hill, Brisbane 4152

What is it?

The lisfranc joint is located in the midfoot and is a major load bearing joint consisting of several ligaments that intertwine between the bones. The lisfranc joint is primarily concerned with maintaining the arch of the foot. Damage to one or more of these small ligaments from a mild sprain to a complete fracture/ dislocation can result in loss of structure and strength of the midfoot. Disruption of the lisfranc joint is always due to acute/ traumatic injury. 

What are the symptoms?

Whilst a lisfranc joint injury isn’t all too common, pains can be extremely debilitating for a patient if left untreated. Symptoms patients often present with include: 

  • Midfoot pain, tenderness or throbbing 
  • Swelling and/ or redness
  • Bruising on the bottom of foot after prolonged periods of standing 
  • Difficulty standing 

Why did I get it?

Damage to the lisfranc joint will always involve a significant mechanism of injury that has either occured by direct or indirect trauma. The following is a list of common mechanisms in which a lisfranc’s injury occurs: 

  • Falling from a height and landing on point of toes (e.g. Ballet dancer) 
  • Heavy object falling on foot 
  • Car accident 
  • Compression while on toes (e.g. rugby scrum) 
  • Kicking a hard object 
  • Falling backwards with foot strapped in (e.g. horse riding, snowboarding) 
  • Twisting the foot and falling from running 

How is it diagnosed?

A lisfranc’s joint injury can be graded into three categories depending on the severity of injury. Your podiatrist will refer you for a weight-bearing x-ray or MRI in order to assess the extent of injury and grade you into one of these three categories. 

How can I treat it?

Treatment of a lisfranc joint injury is dependent on the graded severity. 

  • Grade 1: 
    • Non-weight bearing for 6 weeks
    • Custom orthotics
    • Rehabilitation program
    • Gradual return to sport/ activity
  • Grade 2 & 3
    • Surgery 

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