The Dreaded Lisfranc Injury

Smack in the middle of your foot is a region known as the Lisfranc joint complex. It’s an area made up of all the bones and ligaments that connect the midfoot and the forefoot. There’s one ligament in particular that provides the only connection between the first and second metatarsal bones.


That ligament is called the Lisfranc, and the connection it makes between those two long metatarsals is great when it works - but it can be really bad news when it’s injured. In fact, the Lisfranc injury is one of the most dreaded among professional athletes. Recovering from it is often a long and hard road.


It’s not just a sprain

If you slip and fall or take a tumble over the top of your foot, twisting your foot along the way, consider making an appointment as soon as possible with Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Joseph Saka, or Dr. Katy Statler at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center. It may be just a simple sprain. But if the injury involves a tear of the Lisfranc or dislocation of the bones around it, you need a special kind of care.

Symptoms of a Lisfranc injury

  • Swelling on the top middle of the foot
  • Bruising on top of the foot
  • Bruising on the sole of the foot
  • Difficulty putting weight on the foot
  • Foot looks bent or misshapen

Treatment options

In order to diagnose a Lisfranc injury, our board-certified podiatrists will perform a hands-on examination, manipulating the foot and toes to determine what’s causing your pain. We’ll look at any swelling or bruising present, and if we see bruising on the bottom of the foot, we’re going to suspect some damage of the Lisfranc joint complex. Other treatments can include

  • X-rays or MRIs in order to pinpoint the damage and how severe it is
  • A non weight-bearing cast that’ll keep the injury stable while it heals, followed by a lighter cast that you can put some weight on
  • Follow-up x-rays to make sure the area is healing properly

Surgery: in cases where bones and ligaments in the Lisfranc joint complex are badly damaged, it may be necessary to reposition bones or to fuse them together.


Damage to your Lisfranc is nothing to play around with. For prompt treatment and the best chance of recovery, call the podiatry experts of Monmouth County if you sustain an injury to your midfoot. Our number in Howell, New Jersey is (732) 905-1110.