The midfoot is an area that is particularly important when it comes to the foot’s ability to absorb the tremendous amount of force that comes with walking, running, and jumping. Given this responsibility, it will likely make sense to know that the midfoot is subject to various potential injuries, including Lisfranc fractures.
In the event you sustain one of these reasonably common Lisfranc injuries, you can take comfort in the fact that you will find the treatment you need right here at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists. The first step, though, is being able to recognize that a fracture has happened.
Within the midfoot is a structure we call the Lisfranc joint complex. This structure consists of the various bones and ligaments that connect the midfoot to the forefoot, which contains the bones (metatarsals) that lead up to the toes.
The tarsal bones found in the midfoot play a key role in stabilizing the foot arch. They are connected to the metatarsal bones found in the forefoot by the Lisfranc ligament. This tough band of tissue is charged with providing strength to the Lisfranc joint and maintaining proper bone alignment within the structure.
Lisfranc Fracture Symptoms and Causes
The most prevalent signs and symptoms that a Lisfranc fracture has happened include bruising in the midfoot (either on the bottom or top of the foot), swelling, and a pain that will progressively worsen during walking or even while simply standing.
In most cases, these injuries happen as a result of direct forces, but indirect forces can add up over time and lead to a stress fracture in bones that make up the Lisfranc joint complex. There are many instances where the fracture happens as the result of sudden twisting or falling, especially in athletic activities like soccer or football. It is fairly common for a patient to have sustained the injury while his or her foot was planted and flexed in a downwards position prior to he or she stumbling over the top. Auto accidents, falls from a height, and other sources of direct trauma are also frequent causes.
Other Types of Lisfranc Injuries
In addition to fractures, there are two other types of Lisfranc injuries that can be sustained. It is important to know them as well, because they can happen in combination with a fracture. Also, they do share similar symptoms, so it is important to come see us here at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists so we can provide an accurate diagnosis. In addition to Lisfranc fractures, there are:
- Sprains – This type of Lisfranc injury happens when any of the ligaments in the complex become strained from excessive stretching. A sprain will often lead to instability within the joint.
- Dislocations – In some cases, the bones are forced out of their natural positions. When this happens in conjunction with a fracture, it can be difficult to treat the injury with conservative care and surgery may be necessary.
Treating Lisfranc Fractures
When a Lisfranc fracture happens, the best first aid is to apply ice, elevate the affected foot, and rest. These measures will help to reduce pain and swelling. You can also contact our office to receive a recommendation for medication. Once you come in and see our doctors, our treatment plan may also include any of those components. To immobilize a fractured bone, we might need to place the affected foot in a cast and provide crutches to keep weight off of it.
Depending on the nature and severity of the fracture (especially for compound fractures), surgery may be a necessary part of treatment. The surgical procedures that can be used for a fracture include fusion and internal fixation.
Are You Looking for a Sports Injuries Expert in Austin, TX?
If you are looking for sports injury care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatrist. Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512.328.8900.