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The middle of the foot contains a group of joints that connect the forefoot and midfoot. This group of joints is called the Lisfranc joint complex, which contains bones and ligaments that connect the toe bones (metatarsal bones) with the rest of the foot. Like any joint, the Lisfranc joints can be injured and cause pain or functional issues. Our orthopedic physicians and surgeons at DOCS Health offer Lisfranc injury treatment at our medical center in Los Angeles.

Types of Lisfranc injuries

There are five metatarsal bones, one for each toe, that connect to the midfoot in the Lisfranc joint complex. This joint complex allows the foot to flex and move for balance, creating the foot arch and allowing the transfer of weight to the forefoot. When any of the bones or ligaments in this complex are damaged, it can cause pain and limit the motion of the foot. Some types of Lisfranc injuries include:

  • Twisting the foot while running/walking
  • Landing on feet during a high-height fall
  • Crushing injuries
  • Falling on a foot flexed forward (common in sports injuries)

There are multiple bones and ligaments that create the Lisfranc joint complex that can be damaged during these types of injuries. This can include one or more joint dislocations, fractured bones and torn ligaments.

Symptoms of a Lisfranc Injury

Lisfranc or midfoot injuries can mimic other types of foot injuries. They are not as common as a typical ankle or foot strain or sprain, but can have many of the same symptoms. Common symptoms include:

  • Top of the foot is swollen
  • Bruising on the top or bottom of the foot
  • Top of the foot is tender
  • Pain when walking, standing or pushing off the foot

Mild Lisfranc injuries can be treated with conservative methods, including rest, ice and elevation. However, if there is damage to the joints or fractures, you should receive treatment by an orthopedic physician or surgeon.

If you have sustained a midfoot or Lisfranc injury, contact our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists at DOCS Health. We can schedule an exam and consultation at our medical clinic in Los Angeles.