Broken Midfoot & Lisfranc Fracture: what are the treatment options?

A fracture or break to the midfoot, also know as a Lisfranc fracture, is a significant injury often resulting in an extended recovery time.


It is important that midfoot fractures are immediately diagnosed and properly treated to receive the best outcome possible. Early treatment can greatly increase your chances of avoiding surgery or permanent damage to your foot.


University Foot and Ankle Institute's physicians use the latest diagnostic and treatment technologies. Our doctors are trained trauma specialists with decades of experience and have the highest success rates in the country.

Symptoms of a Midfoot Fracture (Lisfrancs Fracture Dislocation)

Some patients report hearing a popping or cracking sound at the time of the break. Other symptom of a Lisfranc fracture can include pain, bruising and swelling to the middle portion of the foot.

Your toe may look mal-aligned or crooked as a result of the break. While some patients are unable to bear weight on the injured foot, we often see some walking in the office with a fractured foot.


Sprains and fractures of the midfoot present similar symptoms. However, with a fracture you can often pinpoint the area of tenderness or pain, whereas the achiness related to a sprain a affects a wider area of the foot.


What Causes a Lisfranc Fracture

Lisfranc injuires are often the result of excessive force to the midfoot or a forceful movement when part of the foot is stabilized. An example would be an injury to the foot while horseback riding, with the front part of the foot locked-in to the stirrup.

Other midfoot fracture causes are related to traffic collisions, a fall from a significant height or a heavy object falling onto the foot.

Lisfranc fractures are often missed on initial x-rays; therefore, they are one of the most commonly misdiagnosed injuries we see in our Southern California offices.


Treatment Options for a Midfoot Lisfanc Fracture

Proper treatment of Lisfranc injuries are critical. Complications of an untreated midfoot fracture include:

  • Permanent mal-alignment of the bone resulting in limited ability to walk on the foot or fit into shoes
  • Arthritis, when the break is in the region of a joint
  • Chronic foot pain
  • Long-term difficulty walking


If your Lisfranc midfoot fracture has not forced the injured bones out of position, your doctor will cast the area and have you refrain from bearing weight for about six weeks. After the cast is removed, you may have to wear a rigid arch support. Foot exercises will help to build strength and restore full range of motion.


Surgery for a Lisfranc fracture

Surgery is often required to stabilize the bones until healing is complete. Post surgery, you will have to wear a cast and limit weight-bearing for as long as eight weeks. You may wear a walking brace while transitioning to a normal shoe.

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