What is a Lisfranc Injury?

By: J. Turner Vosseller, MD

What is a Lisfranc Injury?

A Lisfranc injury or Lisfranc sprain is an injury to the ligaments in the middle part of the foot, called the midfoot. These ligaments are injured when the foot gets twisted, and often occurs in sports when an opposing player falls onto the foot.  There may also be a fracture of the bones in the midfoot.

Lisfranc Injury Foot fracture Foot injury Foot pain causeLisfranc Injury

Why is a Lisfranc Injury a Problem?

The importance of Lisfranc Injuries were not recognized in the past. Lisfranc injuries make it difficult to run or cut, often because they continue to be painful.   Sometimes, they are painful with just walking.  They are often seen in the sports of football and basketball. 

Can a Lisfranc Injury be Treated without Surgery?

The quick answer is it depends how bad the initial injury is. Treatment can be with or without surgery.  Non-surgical treatment usually involves a boot for some period of time. Once the foot has healed some, we will put a stiff insert onto the bottom of the shoe. This can decrease the stress on the midfoot. This treatment is generally for patients that have a strain or partial tear of the ligaments. 

Rehabilitation with a physical therapist is started once the pain is not too bad. The goal is to improve motion and strength of the muscles and joints of the ankle and the big toe. Return to sports competition usually can vary greatly and depends on how severe the injury is.

Lisfranc Injury Location Label of lisfranc InjuryWhat is the Recovery like After Surgery for a Lisfranc injury?

Surgery involves putting the bones back into the correct position and then putting something between the bones so that they stay in position. Because of this, you will need to be off your foot for about 4 weeks after surgery. You will have a cast and a boot.

  1. A cast will be placed at surgery and removed at about 2 weeks. 
  2. A removable boot will be used from week 2 to 4.
  3. At 4 weeks you can begin walking in the boot. 
  4. The boot is removed at about 8 weeks and a stiff insert is placed into your normal shoes.


Physical therapy begins at about 4 weeks, at first working on foot and ankle motion.

  • By 6 weeks you can begin to start working on strengthening of the foot and ankle musculature. 
  • By 8-10 weeks work on normal walking and weight bearing activity on the Alter G Anti-Gravity treadmill or in the pool can begin. 
  • After 10-12 weeks the focus is on strength, balance, and agility.

For physical therapy appointments at JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.

How Long Does it Take to Recover from Lisfranc Surgery?

Most patient are beginning protective weight bearing in a walking boot at around the 4 week mark, progressing to normal walking with a rigid orthotic insert in the shoe around 6 weeks.  Return to sports competition can vary quite a bit, although most athletes can make it back in 4-6 months.

Related: Ankle Sprains, Ligaments in the Foot and Tendons in the Foot.

If you have a Lisfranc Injury, or any other foot or ankle injury, Dr. J. Turner Vosseller of the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute can help.  Dr. Vosseller is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in Ankle and foot issues.  Let him and the team at JOI get you on the Road to Recovery. 

JOI offers ASAP Fracture and Injury appointments to get you in fast.  We also have telemedicine visits available if needed. 

To schedule an appointment, call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below.

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Vosseller


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