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How the Lisfranc Injury Got its Name will Surprise You!

The Story

The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) were brutal and France found itself running short of physicians. Jacques LisFranc de St. Martin, an OBGYN by trade, was pulled in to help wounded soldiers on the battlefield out of necessity.

One day, a solider was dismounting from his horse when his foot became stuck in the stirrups which compromised his blood flow to his lower limb and created a gangrenous foot. LisFranc described the surgery as "amputation of the foot through the tarsometatarsal articulation".

Today, the eponymous injury (a Lisfranc injury) has come to mean a dislocation or fracture-dislocation injury at the tarsometatarsal joints.

The Injury

Lisfranc injuries often occur as a result of a high-energy impact to the midfoot. It's common to see fractures of the Lisfranc Joint in contact/collision sports like American Football, however low energy incidents (like twisting) can also be a cause.


The chief complaint may be an inability to bear weight along with some mild swelling of the forefoot or midfoot (sometimes a visible deformity). Bruising of the arch is sometimes present but not required for a Lisfranc diagnosis. X-ray examinations can help identify this injury.

Treatment Options

Neville Foot and Ankle Center wants to get our patients back to their normal lives as quickly as possible. There are both operative or non-operative treatment plans available for a Lisfranc fracture, and if you believe you may have this injury, a consultation with one of our highly skilled Podiatric Surgeons will help you determine which is best for your situation.

The patient's injured limb becomes "non-weight bearing" for a minimum of 6 weeks (which is why sports professionals fear the diagnosis). Partial weight-bearing may then begin, with full weight bearing after an additional several weeks, depending on the specific injury and after 12 weeks, hardware will be removed from the foot.

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