LisFranc's Injury - Advanced Physical Medicine
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LisFranc’s Injury

The New York Jets Player, Santonio Holmes, suffered  a LisFranc injury last weekend, and many reports state that this may compromise the rest of his football season.  A LisFranc Injury/Fracture/Dislocation is a serious injury that often involves shifting over or fracture (breaks) of the metatarsal bones of the foot.  There are five metatarsal bone, which are longer bone that correspond to each toe.  A very strong ligament called the LisFranc ligament connects the first and second metatarsals to stabilize this part of the foot. These metatarsal bones connect with the cuneiforms and cuboid to form the LisFranc joint.   With this type of injury, this ligament is often disrupted, and shifting of the metatarsals out of their positions usually follows.  Depending on the severity of the injury, dislocation and fracture can occur, and this leads to the complexity of the situation.  Milder forms of the injury can involve stretching and strain of the LisFranc ligament. 

A plantarflexed (downward bending) foot, a rapid rotational force, or high impact injuries can cause this injury.  For example, stepping into an unexpected hole while walking or running can initiate this type of injury.  Additionally, falling when walking in high heels can also cause this injury.  Sports like football, with the running, tackling, and rapid transitioning can cause this type of injury, as is the case with Santonio Holmes. 

X-Rays, MRI, and CT provide information on the extent of the injury.  Some patients can be treated with immobilization and casting, but other patients need surgical intervention.  Either way, this type of injury is serious and requires physical therapy following casting or surgery.  It also typically leads to arthritis.

Dr. Bender is a foot and ankle specialist at Advanced Physical Medicine.  She practices at the Oak Park and 63rd Street locations and is also a clinical instructor for William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine.

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