Lisfranc Injuries

A Lisfranc joint injury affects 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 who suffered this injury. This injury is often misdiagnosed as a sprain and can be very debilitating if not taken care of properly.

This injury can occur with a simple twist and fall. This is a low-energy injury. It is commonly seen in football and soccer players. It is often seen when someone stumbles over the top of a foot flexed downwards.

More severe injuries occur from direct trauma, such as a fall from a height. These high-energy injuries can result in multiple fractures and dislocations of the joints. Oftentimes, these injuries are associated with compartment syndrome of the foot, which is a true medical emergency that can lead to loss of limb.

When frank dislocation occurs, diagnosis is easy with plain film X-rays. When subtle injuries occur, they are often missed on X-rays and advanced imaging is needed.

Once the diagnosis is established, treatment is based on the severity of the injury. Non weight bearing in a CAM boot is reserved for subtle injuries.

Treatment options are usually 1 of 2. Discover the tear BEFORE it ruptures and place patient in non weight bearing in a CAM boot. However, most of the time its related to a injury. Typically seen in football, soccer, equestrian sports and MVA (motor vehicle accidents)


Open reduction internal fixation or primary fusion of the lisfranc joint complex are options for severe injuries. Neglected injuries can be very debilitating long term which results in severe arthritis and deformity of the foot. These are almost always addressed surgically.

After repair and recovery patient still overtime have other related conditions like post-traumatic arthritis, chronic pain and swelling. Most will require custom orthotics to minimize progressive deformity and further surgery.


As Physician and Surgeons we can address if conservative and or surgical treatment is recommended. Every visit you WILL SEE the doctor. If you are struggling with chronic midfoot pain, prior lisfranc injury or recent pain of the area that has not improved, let us take a look at you and see how we can help.


DocMartins Foot & Ankle Clinics

Offices in Ann Arbor, Jackson, and Adrian

517-879-4241