Lisfranc Injury & Football

 
 
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Lisfranc Injury & Football

 

Pain in the foot that maybe difficult to diagnose maybe caused by Lisfranc injury. This injury is a dislocation or sprain of the Tarso- Metatarsal joint, and occurs when a high energy trauma to the foot is present. This can occur from a strong tackle during a football game.

How Do We Know its Lisfranc Joint Injury?

This kind of injury is really very difficult to diagnose because a Tarsal bone fracture is very difficult to differentiate from bone bruising. The overt and covert signs of Tarsal bone fracture and bone bruising are very similar to each other. The signs and symptom of these two disorders are abnormal weight bearing, tenderness, swelling and bruising. Even X-rays present vague results. This is the reason why most of Lisfranc Joint injury diagnoses are not picked up on X-rays.

How Do We Treat Lisfranc Joint Injury?

The treatment of this injury depends on the degree or extent of the injury. A sprain of the Tarso Metatarsal ligament only needs conventional treatment. A removable plastic cast is usually used to immobilize the foot for 4-6 weeks.
To relieve foot pain, a cold compress may be applied. Cold compressions are done for no more than 20 minutes at a time for every 2 hours.

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A removable plastic cast allows the user to do regular therapy sessions. Non weight bearing exercises such as pool running with a buoyancy belt can be done when the cast is removed. This allows the therapist to immobilize the ankle joint in order to prevent stiffness of the joint.

Usual weight bearing and mobilization techniques can be done 6 weeks after removing the cast. This is done with the help of a trained therapist. A gradual return to sports activities is advised.

The prognosis is not usually good when there is more Tarso- Metatarsal ligament damage. The widening between the Tarso- metatarsal joint present on the X-ray causes instability at the Lisfranc joint. This instability predisposes a person to osteoarthritis if the situation happens for a longer period of time. That is why orthopaedists advise surgical fixation of the joint that would restore the anatomy of the joint.


Wires and screws aid in bringing the bones back to their original form. After post surgery, the player is then advised to wear a removable plastic cast for 2-3 months. The player can gradually return to normal weight bearing activities.
However, the individual player needs to discuss with his therapist if the activity fits the presence of screws and wires. If these screws and wires are needed to be removed, then it will take another 6 weeks for the bone to heal.

How Do We Prevent Lisfranc Injury

Wearing comfortable and suitable footwear may help the athlete prevent this injury whilst in a game or a training session.

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