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When the bones in the middle of the foot are broken or if the ligaments that support those bones are torn, the result is what’s known as a Lisfranc fracture. There are varying degrees of Lisfranc injuries, ranging from simple muscle tears to more complex bone fractures that involve several of the bones and joints that are located in the middle of the foot.
This is a common misdiagnosis in individuals who suffer from a common twist of the ankle which results in a fall. When a true Lisfranc injury occurs, it is more complex than a simple foot sprain. Telling the individual to go walk it off, as is commonly done for a foot sprain, will do no good whatsoever, and can in fact make the injury worse. A true Lisfranc injury requires a proper diagnosis and treatment, and can take several months to heal properly. In some cases, one or more surgical procedures may be required.
Much like a sprained foot, a Lisfranc fracture can occur when the ankle or foot experiences a simple twist and fall. Lisfrance injuries generally occur as a result of a low-energy injury. This means that high impact activities such as running are not usually the cause.
Lisfranc injuries can also occur as a result of sustaining a direct trauma injury, such as those that occur from falling from an elevated height. These type of Lisfranc injuries are usually much more severe. Although they occur less often than low-energy injuries, these high-energy injuries can lead to the development of multiple Lisfranc fractures and/or dislocation of the bones or joints in the middle of the foot.
It is often difficult to diagnose a Lisfranc injury because of where it is located. The Lisfranc bones and tendons are located deep in the middle of the foot, underneath the area where a stirrup would be placed. There are many other muscles and bones located in that area in addition to the Lisfranc. This can make it difficult for doctors to diagnose the actual injury, even when x-rays and other diagnostic tests are used.