Lisfranc Injury

A Lisfranc injury occurs when bones in the midfoot are broken or ligaments that support the midfoot are torn. This type of injury can also involve a combination of broken bones and torn ligaments. In some cases, more than one joint may be impacted. Lisfranc injuries are often mistaken for a common sprain that is expected to heal quickly. However, Lisfranc injuries are more severe, requiring months to heal and sometimes surgery.


Lisfranc injuries are often caused by something as simple as a slip or stumble. Hard impacts from car accidents, falls, and sports injuries may also cause a Lisfranc injury.


The top of the foot will be swollen and painful in a Lisfranc injury. Bruising will usually develop at the top and bottom of the foot. Pain in the midfoot will intensify with standing and walking. It may also be impossible to put weight on the foot.


Physicians will assess symptoms and perform an examination of the foot and ankle to diagnose a Lisfranc injury. Some of the factors physicians will look for include bruising at the bottom of the foot, tenderness at the midfoot, and pain when performing physical tests. Imaging tests may also be ordered to identify broken bones and alignment of the Lisfranc joint.


Mild Lisfranc injuries with no fractures or dislocations in the joint and ligaments may be treated with a cast or boot. However, most Lisfranc injuries will require surgery. After surgery, physical therapy may be advised to restore function to the midfoot.

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