Conditions & Treatments

LisFranc (Midfoot) Fracture

A fracture accompanied by dislocation of the tarsometatarsal (Lisfranc) joint of the foot, which is located in the middle of the foot. This injury was named after Jacques Lisfranc. Lisfranc was a surgeon in Napoleon’s army, and the name was given after Lisfranc’s description of the injury suffered by a soldier who fell off his horse with his foot trapped in the stirrup.

Lisfranc injury is rare and is difficult to diagnose. It is often misdiagnosed as an ankle sprain.. Lisfranc injury can lead to claw toes, midfoot instability, chronic pain, arthritis, and other foot problems. Early diagnosis is imperative, and treatment can be difficult because of the complexity of the structure of the Lisfranc joint.

Causes:

  • A blow to the foot, such as might be experienced in a fall from a height or in an automobile accident.
  • A twisting injury, such as occurred with Lisfranc’s soldier or in certain athletic injuries.

Symptoms:

  • Severe midfoot pain and tenderness.
  • Moderate to severe swelling in the midfoot, similar to that experienced by an ankle sprain, and often misdiagnosed as such.

Early diagnosis and treatment is essential, because potential complications are serious. Treatments include:

  • Approximately 6 weeks in a short-leg walking cast or splint, for non-displaced fractures
  • Use of a rigid arch support
  • Surgery