LisFranc Injury

LisFranc Injury - Highett Podiatry


The Lisfranc joint is the point at which the metatarsal bones (long bones that lead up to the toes) and the tarsal bones (bones in the arch) connect. The Lisfranc ligament is a tough band of tissue that joins two of these bones. This is important for maintaining proper alignment and strength of the joint. This ligament can be injured if the foot is twisted or experiences a high impact force. In dancers this is often seen when landing incorrectly from allegro steps or if a high impact occurs when on the demipoint.
Lisfranc injuries can be classified into 3 categories:
Sprains – The Lisfranc ligament and other ligaments on the bottom of the midfoot are stronger than those on the top of the midfoot. Therefore, when they are weakened through a sprain (a stretching of the ligament), patients experience instability of the joint in the middle of the foot.

Fractures – A break in a bone in the Lisfranc joint can be either an avulsion fracture (a small piece of bone is pulled off) or a break through the bone or bones of the midfoot.

Dislocations – The bones of the Lisfranc joint may be forced from their normal positions.


  • Swelling of the foot
  • Pain throughout the midfoot when standing or when pressure is applied
  • Inability to bear weight (in severe injuries)
  • Bruising of the arch or on the top of the foot
  • Abnormal widening of the foot

Your podiatrist will take a thorough history as well as a physical examination to determine location of pain and see what symptoms are present. Imaging may also be required and as some lisfranc injuries do not show up on a plain film x ray and you may be sent for an MRI.


  • RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
  • Immobilisation usually with a CAM walker
  • Anitinflammatory medications
  • Surgery in severe cases where rest and immobilisation are ineffective

Treatment will usually involve a series of the above methods. A personalised training plan to keep you dancing where possible and allow for conditioning work to continue to get you back to your pre-injured state as soon as possible will also be tailored by our dance podiatrists.

Always Consult A Trained Professional

The information in this resource is general in nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subject matter covered. It is not a substitute for medical advice and you should always consult a trained professional practising in the area of medicine in relation to any injury or condition. You use or rely on information in this resource at your own risk and no party involved in the production of this resource accepts any responsibility for the information contained within it or your use of that information.