A Lisfranc injury affects the midfoot. Broken bones or damaged ligaments in this area can cause debilitating pain and mobility problems. Although Lisfranc injuries are sometimes mistaken for sprains, they cannot be ignored or “walked off.” These are severe injuries that may take months to heal, and in some cases surgery may be required.
Many Lisfranc injuries often occur as a result of a twist and fall, even with a low application of force. Football and soccer players are at a higher risk of suffering an injury to the midfoot, specifically, if they stumble or trip. Severe Lisfranc injuries are more likely to occur as a result of direct trauma to the foot, often with more force, such as in a fall from a height.
Named after Jacques Lisfranc de St. Martin, a surgeon who served in the French army under Napoleon in the 1800s, the Lisfranc joint complex includes both bones and ligaments that connect the front and middle of the foot. This cluster of small bones and ligaments is critical in stabilizing the arch of the foot. The midfoot actually transfers the force created by the calf muscle into the front of the foot, helping with the forward motion of walking.
Discoloration on the bottom of the foot is particularly indicative of a Lisfranc injury. If your foot is injured and standard sprain treatment of applying cold compresses, raising the foot, and resting do not alleviate pain and swelling, it is important to seek medical treatment from an orthopedic specialist.