Treatment for Lisfranc Joint Injury

A Lisfranc (midfoot) joint injury is a kind of injury to the bones or ligaments in the arch of your foot. There is often also damage to the cartilage that covers these bones. The injury gets its name from a French surgeon.

Types of treatment

Your treatment may vary depending on how severe your injury is. Your treatment may include:

  • Pain medicine

  • Wearing a non-weight-bearing cast for 6 weeks

  • Wearing a weight-bearing cast or a special foot support after the first 6 weeks

  • A series of X-rays to see how your foot is healing

It's important not to put weight on your foot during the initial healing period.

In some cases, you may need surgery. You may need surgery if you:

  • Have broken bones

  • Your bones are not lined up correctly

  • Your ligaments are completely torn

The types of surgery include:

  • Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). This is the most common type of surgery for the injury. The bones are lined up correctly. Injured ligaments may be repaired. Special metal plates or screws hold the bones in place. These may be removed at a later date.

  • Joint fusion. This type of surgery is only done if the damage is very severe and can’t be repaired. This surgery fuses one or more of your bones together. They then heal into a single, solid piece.

After surgery, you need to use a cast for several weeks. You will not be able to put weight on your foot.

Possible complications of a Lisfranc joint injury

A Lisfranc joint injury can cause arthritis in the injured bones of your foot. This can lead to chronic pain in the area. You are more likely to develop arthritis if you had a severe Lisfranc joint injury that damaged a lot of the cartilage. Arthritis may happen even if your surgery worked well. Some people need to have joint fusion surgery to relieve these symptoms if the arthritis is severe. Infection is always a possible risk when surgery is done.

There is also a risk that your bones will not heal properly. This may need a follow-up surgery. These risks may be higher if you smoke or have thinned bones (osteoporosis).

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Chills

  • Pain that gets worse

  • Numbness in your foot

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