Identifying a Lisfranc Injury

A not widely known but frequently seriously debilitating injury that we treat at Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle is a Lisfranc injury. The Lisfranc joint is where the metatarsal bones (the long bones that go from your toes to the middle of your foot) and the tarsal bones (the bones in the arch of your foot) meet.

Causes of Injury

Interestingly, this ligament, which is critical for proper joint alignment, can be injured in a number of ways, directly or indirectly, including:

  • Accident or injury (something heavy dropping on the foot)
  • Contact sports such as football
  • Overuse, such as running
  • Twisting of the foot as occurs in missing a step or rapidly changing direction on your feet

The injury may take one of three forms: a dislocation—bones of the Lisfranc joint are pushed out of their normal position; sprain—overstretching of the ligaments surrounding the joint; or a fracture—a break in one of the bones in the Lisfranc joint.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

How do you know if you have a Lisfranc injury? Only a foot and ankle surgeon like Dr. A. Bil Buksh can diagnose this condition for sure but the following symptoms may be an indicator:

  • Pain in the midfoot when standing or pressed on
  • Unable to bear weight on the affected foot
  • Swelling
  • Bruising or blistering in the arch or on top of the midfoot
  • Widening of the foot

The foot doctor will want to get the details of how your injury occurred in addition to examining your foot and taking an x-ray and/or other imaging tests to get a better picture of what has happened to your foot. A Lisfranc injury can masquerade as an ankle sprain and so an accurate diagnosis is critical.


Once the foot doctor has confirmed an injury to the Lisfranc joint, he will work with you to determine the best treatment plan. Nonsurgical treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to help with pain and inflammation, as well as icing and elevation to reduce swelling. Immobilization may be necessary to allow the joint time to heal and physical therapy may also be recommended. In some cases, surgery may be required.

If you are experiencing pain in your midfoot, contact our Edmond or Norman office for an appointment.