Lisfranc injuries

Aust Fam Physician. 2017 Mar;46(3):116-119.


Background: Injury to the tarsometatarsal joint is a relatively rare occurrence that is commonly missed, leading to debilitating outcomes. For this reason, it is considered a red flag in general practice.

Objective: This article reviews the current literature on tarsometatarsal injuries and describes clinical assessment, imaging and management.

Discussion: Lisfranc injuries refer to the displacement of the metatarsals from the tarsus, with special attention placed on the second tarsometa-tarsal joint and Lisfranc ligament. These injuries can occur in numerous circumstances, such as motor vehicle accidents, crush inju-ries and falls. Indirect mechanisms include axial force through the foot or twisting on a plantar flexed foot. Suggestive examination signs include plantar ecchymosis, mid-foot pain and positive findings in the provocative tests described in the article. Weight-bearing radiographs are vital for diagnosis. Correct and prompt management is key to avoiding posttraumatic arthritis, a devastating but common complication of Lisfranc injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Clinical Competence
  • Family Practice / organization & administration*
  • Foot Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / diagnosis*
  • Ligaments, Articular / injuries*
  • Physicians, Primary Care / organization & administration*
  • Tarsal Joints / injuries*