Lisfranc Midfoot Fracture: Understanding a Complex Foot Injury

A Lisfranc midfoot fracture is a serious injury that affects the midfoot region, specifically the Lisfranc joint complex, which connects the metatarsal bones to the tarsal bones. This injury can result in significant pain, instability, and long-term complications if not properly diagnosed and treated. Here’s a comprehensive overview of Lisfranc midfoot fractures, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and recovery:

Causes of Lisfranc Midfoot Fractures:

Lisfranc fractures are often caused by:

  • Traumatic Events: High-energy impacts, such as falls from heights or car accidents, can cause the bones in the midfoot to fracture or dislocate.
  • Sports Injuries: Participation in sports that involve sudden changes in direction, twists, or falls.


Common signs and symptoms of Lisfranc midfoot fractures include:
  • Intense pain and swelling in the midfoot region.
  • Difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot.
  • Bruising and discoloration on the top of the foot.
  • Instability and difficulty walking.


Diagnosing Lisfranc midfoot fractures involves:
  • Physical Examination: A healthcare provider assesses the foot for pain, swelling, deformity, and joint stability.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans are used to visualize the fracture, determine the extent of the injury, and assess associated joint dislocations.

Treatment Options:

Lisfranc fractures often require prompt and precise treatment due to their complexity:

  • Non-Surgical Treatment: Stable fractures may be treated with casting, immobilization, and non-weight-bearing for a period.
  • Surgical Treatment: Severe fractures, those with joint dislocations, or those involving multiple bones may require surgery to realign and stabilize the midfoot using screws, plates, or pins.

Recovery and Rehabilitation:

After treatment for a Lisfranc midfoot fracture:

  • Follow the doctor’s instructions for cast care, wound care, and medications.
  • Physical therapy is crucial to restore strength, mobility, and stability.
  • Gradually resume weight-bearing and activities under professional guidance.

Potential Complications:

Lisfranc fractures can lead to complications such as:

  • Malunion: Bones healing in a misaligned position.
  • Nonunion: Bones not healing properly.
  • Arthritis: Long-term joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function.
  • Instability: Persistent joint instability and deformity.


To reduce the risk of Lisfranc fractures:

  • Use proper footwear that provides support and stability.
  • Practice proper techniques during sports and exercises.
  • Maintain strong foot and ankle muscles through regular exercise.


Lisfranc midfoot fractures are complex injuries that require specialized diagnosis and treatment. Timely intervention by a healthcare provider or orthopedic specialist, along with diligent rehabilitation, is crucial for successful healing and minimizing long-term complications. If you suspect a Lisfranc midfoot fracture or experience severe midfoot pain after an injury, seeking medical evaluation is essential for ensuring the best possible outcome and preserving foot function and mobility.