Early Detection & Management The Key To Successful Treatment
The early recognition and treatment of Lisfranc injuries is ideal for helping to preserve the foots normal biomechanics and function. In the long run Lisfranc injuries carry a high risk of chronic secondary disability and frequently lead arthritis of the midfoot. The best long term outcomes for Lisfranc injuries occur when there is correct and early management.
Treatment Approaches For Lisfranc Injury
The treatment for Lisfranc injuries depends on the severity of the injury:
- Non surgical treatment for stable injuries without fractures or dislocations is generally the first choice. In this situation the use of a boot and a period of non weight bearing is typically prescribed by the orthopaedic surgeon.
- Surgical treatment is recommended for the more severe and complex Lisfranc injuries that involve a fracture in the joints of the midfoot or demonstrate instability with abnormal positioning of the joints. Surgery ideally achieves realignment of the joints creating stability and restoring normal positioning and motion of the arches of the midfoot.
- Fusion of the damaged bones / joints is another surgical option which may be considered if the injury is severe enough that the injury can’t be repaired. Fusion is effectively creating a situation where the bones heal into a single solid piece like they have been welded together. Normal motion at the arches is obviously lost but function is relatively well maintained.
Rehabilitation Of Lisfranc Injuries
Rehabilitation after immobilization or surgery will often involve physiotherapy treatment and moving from non weightbearing to weightbearing is started when the X-rays look appropriate as guided by the treating orthopaedic surgeon. When active rehabilitation can start the amount of weight loaded through the foot, rehabilitative exercises and distance the patient is allowed to walk is at the surgeon’s discretion.
Lisfranc Injuries Can Lead To Arthritis
A Lisfranc injury may result in chronic pain and a failure to return to pre-injury levels of sport after such injury. These injuries can cause damage to the cartilage of the midfoot joints. This Damage to the cartilage coupled with any biomechanical changes to the foot arches can result in an increased risk of arthritis developing later in life. Even following successful surgery for the Lisfranc injury developing arthritis later in life is still a real risk.
Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic provides this information as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance on Treatment For Lisfranc Injuries should consult his or her physiotherapist, general practitioner, sports medicine specialist or orthopaedic surgeon.