L is for LisFranc Fracture

November 22, 2012

A LisFranc fracture is a particular fracture that affects the midfoot.

A Lisfranc fracture refers to an injury involving the midfoot, specifically the tarsometatarsal joint complex. It occurs when there is a fracture or dislocation of the bones that connect the metatarsal bones (the long bones leading to the toes) to the tarsal bones (the bones in the arch of the foot). This complex includes the first, second, and third cuneiform bones and the base of the second metatarsal bone.

Mechanism of Injury: Lisfranc fractures often result from high-energy trauma, such as motor vehicle accidents or sports injuries. They can also occur due to a sudden twisting or rotational force applied to the midfoot, such as during a fall or a misstep.

Signs and Symptoms: Common symptoms of a Lisfranc fracture include pain, swelling, and bruising on the top of the foot and midfoot. Walking or bearing weight on the affected foot may be difficult and painful. There may also be instability or a noticeable deformity in severe cases.

Types of Lisfranc Fractures: Lisfranc fractures can vary in severity, ranging from mild ligamentous sprains or fractures to complete dislocations or fractures involving multiple bones. These fractures can be classified into different types based on the specific location and pattern of the injury.

Diagnosis: A healthcare professional, typically an orthopedic specialist, will perform a physical examination and order imaging tests, such as X-rays, to confirm the diagnosis and assess the extent of the injury. In some cases, additional imaging studies like CT scans or MRIs may be required for a more detailed evaluation.

Treatment: Treatment for Lisfranc fractures depends on the severity of the injury. Non-surgical treatment may be appropriate for stable fractures or ligamentous injuries, and it typically involves immobilization with a cast or boot, rest, ice, and elevation (RICE therapy). However, surgical intervention is often necessary for more severe fractures or cases with significant instability. Surgery may involve realigning and fixing the fractured bones with screws, plates, or other hardware.

Rehabilitation and Recovery: Following treatment, a period of immobilization is usually required to allow the bones and soft tissues to heal. Physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises are then prescribed to restore strength, mobility, and function to the foot. The duration of recovery can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the individual’s healing process.


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