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What is a Lisfranc Injury?

The tarsometatarsal joint or Lisfranc joint is the region in the middle of the foot formed by the articulation of the tarsal bones (a cluster of seven bones) and metatarsal bones (a group of five long bones). This region supports the arch of the foot. Lisfranc or midfoot fractures are breaks in the bones of the midfoot. They also involve torn ligaments that support the midfoot. The injury can be simple or complex, involving many bones and joints of the midfoot. A Lisfranc injury is sometimes mistaken for a sprain in the foot when you twist your leg and fall.


A Lisfranc injury can occur due to the twisting of the foot (low-energy injury), a fall from a height or a traumatic motor accident (high-energy injury).


Lisfranc injuries are characterized by pain and the inability to bear weight. The appearance of bruises and swelling on the bottom of the midfoot are commonly observed symptoms.


Your doctor will first examine the physical condition of the foot by inspection and palpation (feeling), then order X-rays, CT or MRI scans to provide more information about your condition.


The early stages of injury can be treated with rest, application of ice, elevation of your foot, NSAIDs (to help with pain and inflammation) and immobilization. A non-weightbearing boot or cast may be recommended for 6-8 weeks if no fractures or dislocations are present. You will then progress to a supportive, removable weightbearing boot until recovery. Exercises may be recommended to help recovery.

Other Foot & Ankle Topics

  • American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons
  • AOSSM-American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • Midwestern University