Lisfranc Dislocation


Article Author:
Benjamin Buchanan


Article Editor:
Chester Donnally III


Editors In Chief:
Amie Kim
Todd May
Matthew Varacallo


Managing Editors:
Avais Raja
Orawan Chaigasame
Carrie Smith
Abdul Waheed
Khalid Alsayouri
Trevor Nezwek
Radia Jamil
Patrick Le
Anoosh Zafar Gondal
Saad Nazir
William Gossman
Hassam Zulfiqar
Hussain Sajjad
Steve Bhimji
Muhammad Hashmi
John Shell
Matthew Varacallo
Heba Mahdy
Ahmad Malik
Sarosh Vaqar
Mark Pellegrini
James Hughes
Beata Beatty
Beenish Sohail
Nazia Sadiq
Hajira Basit
Phillip Hynes


Updated:
6/3/2019 6:17:20 PM

Introduction

A Lisfranc dislocation or injury typically describes a spectrum of injuries involving the tarsometatarsal joints of the foot. The Lisfranc joint itself is composed of the articulation between the first, second, and third metatarsals bones, and the cuneiform bones. Injuries of the joint can range from complete tarsometatarsal displacement with associated fractures and ligamentous tears to partial sprains with no displacement. Although a Lisfranc injury can involve various parts of the foot the Lisfranc ligament itself is an isolated ligament that connects the medial cuneiform to the second metatarsal. Lisfranc joint injuries are uncommon and are often misdiagnosed and mismanaged. It is important to recognize these injuries early and start treatment promptly because failure to recognize and treat these will lead to midfoot arthritis, chronic pain, and functional instability. Even when recognized and treated promptly, there is still a high risk for chronic disability and complications.[1]

Etiology

There are usually two main mechanisms that cause this type of injury: direct, and indirect. A direct mechanism of injury occurs as a crush injury to the joint region from an event such as a motor vehicle collision or industrial accident. Because of the mechanisms' high levels of force, there is usually no pattern or classic appearance. An indirect injury is more common than a direct injury and is often associated with sports participation. This mechanism of injury usually involves a longitudinal force while the foot is plantar flexed with a medial or lateral rotational force. Another frequent presentation is stepping awkwardly off a curb with the foot forcefully plantar flexed.[2][3]

Epidemiology

Lisfranc injuries are relatively uncommon. They account for 0.2% of all fractures, but the prevalence is likely higher as these frequently go undiagnosed. The reported incidence of this injury is approximately 1 per 55,000 persons per year. This injury can occur in all ages but is more common in the third decade of life and is more common in males. Lisfranc injuries occur more frequently in athletes and have become increasingly diagnosed in this group.[4]

Pathophysiology

A Lisfranc injury occurs as a traumatic injury without underlying pathophysiology. There is a small subset of patients who may be more susceptible to this injury. This subset includes people with diabetes or individuals with nerve damage that causes decreased sensation to the feet. Decreased pain sensation can lead to repetitive injury or wear and tear causing the patient to be more susceptible to a Lisfranc injury from a minor mechanism.

History and Physical

Usually, the patient will complain of midfoot pain with varying amounts of pain with weight bearing, following an acute injury. The injury will often occur by one of the mechanisms described previously. The pain is classically worsened by forefoot weight bearing, and the patient may describe pain or difficulty with the push-off phases of walking and/or running. It is important to note that the severity of the injury is often underestimated at the time of initial injury and the presentation may be delayed. If there is midfoot pain beyond five days, swelling, and/or difficulty with push-off activities, then a Lisfranc injury should be highly suspected. The physical exam can be very helpful and suggestive of these injuries. Inspection of the affected foot can reveal significant swelling, ecchymosis, and although less common, obvious anatomic deformity. There is typically pain with palpation over the dorsal mid-foot, more specifically the tarsometatarsal joints. There is often pain with combined abduction and eversion of the forefoot. Pain can also commonly be reproduced with passive pronation or supination of the tarsometatarsal joint. One should also ensure the injury is closed as open fracture dislocations are a surgical emergency.[5][1]

Evaluation

When a Lisfranc injury is suspected, anteroposterior, 30-degree oblique and lateral weight-bearing radiographs should initially be obtained. Compliance with weight-bearing films is as difficult as it is essential. Both the patient and radiography technician should be educated on the importance. While more obvious in boney injuries, in purely ligamentous injuries, an axial force during the radiograph is needed to illustrate the injury better. Radiographic findings of a Lisfranc injury or dislocation typically show misalignment of the lateral margin of the first metatarsal base with the lateral edge of the medial cuneiform, misalignment of the medial aspect of the second metatarsal base with the medial edge of the middle cuneiform, and/or small avulsion fragments a one of metatarsal or cuneiform bones. In these instances, the finding of avulsion fractures are commonly referred to as a “fleck sign” and suggest a Lisfranc injury. Displacement of more than 2 mm between the first and second metatarsal bases is considered a positive radiographic finding and is strongly suggestive of a Lisfranc injury as well. On oblique view radiographs, the medial aspect of the cuboid should line up with the medial aspect of the fourth metatarsal base. The dorsal cortex of the first metatarsal and medial cuneiform should be aligned on the lateral weight-bearing radiographs. 

Whenever in doubt a CT scan is more diagnostic as they may reveal small avulsion fractures that may be otherwise missed. CT scan may also be helpful for surgical planning. MRI may be helpful in evaluating the extent of the ligamentous injury.[6][7][8][9][10]

Treatment / Management

Lisfranc injuries can be managed operatively or non-operatively depending on the clinical presentation. Initial treatment includes reduction, splitting, and aggressive elevation. Non-operative treatment is only reserved for anatomically stable and non-displaced injuries. In this case, the patient is immediately made non-weight bearing and put in a cast or boot. Repeat evaluation and radiographs should be performed after two weeks to rule out any diastasis that might convert the patient into surgical management. After at least six weeks if the patient is completely non-tender and radiographs are again negative, then there can be a consideration to begin weight bearing and a rehabilitation program. If there is any tenderness but still no displacement then the patient should be in a boot or cast again for at least another four weeks before starting rehabilitation. Any diastasis or displacement requires surgical fixation. The patient should be non-weight bearing after surgery for six to eight weeks. At that time re-evaluation is performed and a walking boot or cast can be considered as clinical presentation indicates. This cast or boot is then usually worn for another six weeks. At that time, again as clinical presentation dictates, a progressive functional rehabilitation program can be started.[11][12][13]

Pearls and Other Issues

As many as 20% of Lisfranc injuries are missed on initial presentation to the emergency department. Lisfranc injuries in athletes have been classified according to the American Medical Association’s Standard Nomenclature of Athletic Injuries. First-degree and second-degree sprains have been classified as partial ligament tears with swelling, focal pain, no instability, and normal radiographs. Instability and diastasis greater than 2 mm between the first and second metatarsals, as seen on anteroposterior radiographs, is consistent with a third-degree sprain. Post-traumatic arthrosis is a very common complication of Lisfranc joint injury associated with higher injury mechanism and purely ligamentous dislocations.[14][15]

 

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

Lisfranc joint injury are best managed by a multidisciplinary team that also includes an orthopedic nurse. The diagnosis of Lisfranc joint injury is not always simple. Clinicians need to know that proper imaging studies are vital. When a Lisfranc injury is suspected, anteroposterior, 30-degree oblique and lateral weight-bearing radiographs should initially be obtained. Compliance with weight-bearing films is as difficult as it is essential. Both the patient and radiography technician should be educated on the importance. While more obvious in boney injuries, in purely ligamentous injuries, an axial force during the radiograph is needed to illustrate the injury better. If proper x-rays are not obtained, the patient's disorder remains undiagnosed leading to more morbidity.


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Lisfranc Dislocation - Questions

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An adult has foot pain after a sports accident. Examination shows midfoot tenderness, plantar ecchymosis, and swelling. Radiograph demonstrates 3 mm gap at the base of the second metatarsal and lateral displacement of the second through fifth metatarsals. Which of the following is the best management?



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A 17-year-old football player presents with 6 days of persistent right mid-foot pain. He says he thinks he "sprained it" playing in a game 6 days ago. He says push-off with walking causes significant pain. A Lisfranc dislocation is suspected. What initial imaging studies of the foot should be ordered?



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A patient with midfoot pain after an injury is diagnosed with a Lisfranc dislocation after the review of radiographs. There is 3 mm displacement between the first and second metatarsal bases. What initial management is recommended?



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What is the name of the interosseous ligament that goes from medial cuneiform to the base of the second metatarsal on the plantar surface?



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What is the stage of the Lisfranc injury in a patient who is found to have a 3 mm first-to-second intermetatarsal diastasis but no arch height loss?



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Lisfranc Dislocation - References

References

Lisfranc joint displacement following sequential ligament sectioning., Kaar S,Femino J,Morag Y,, The Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume, 2007 Oct     [PubMed]
Epidemiology, imaging, and treatment of Lisfranc fracture-dislocations revisited., Kalia V,Fishman EK,Carrino JA,Fayad LM,, Skeletal radiology, 2012 Feb     [PubMed]
Practical management of Lisfranc injuries in athletes., Lattermann C,Goldstein JL,Wukich DK,Lee S,Bach BR Jr,, Clinical journal of sport medicine : official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine, 2007 Jul     [PubMed]
Current concepts review: Lisfranc injuries., Desmond EA,Chou LB,, Foot & ankle international, 2006 Aug     [PubMed]
Lisfranc joint injuries: trauma mechanisms and associated injuries., Murphy N,Olney D,, The Journal of trauma, 1994 Mar     [PubMed]
Management of Tarsometatarsal Joint Injuries., Weatherford BM,Anderson JG,Bohay DR,, The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2017 Jul     [PubMed]
Primary internal fixation and soft-tissue reconstruction in the treatment for an open Lisfranc fracture-dislocation., Sanli I,Hermus J,Poeze M,, Musculoskeletal surgery, 2012 Jun     [PubMed]
Hardcastle PH,Reschauer R,Kutscha-Lissberg E,Schoffmann W, Injuries to the tarsometatarsal joint. Incidence, classification and treatment. The Journal of bone and joint surgery. British volume. 1982     [PubMed]
Englanoff G,Anglin D,Hutson HR, Lisfranc fracture-dislocation: a frequently missed diagnosis in the emergency department. Annals of emergency medicine. 1995 Aug     [PubMed]
Llopis E,Carrascoso J,Iriarte I,Serrano Mde P,Cerezal L, Lisfranc Injury Imaging and Surgical Management. Seminars in musculoskeletal radiology. 2016 Apr     [PubMed]
Perron AD,Brady WJ,Keats TE, Orthopedic pitfalls in the ED: Lisfranc fracture-dislocation. The American journal of emergency medicine. 2001 Jan     [PubMed]
Brown DD,Gumbs RV, Lisfranc fracture-dislocations: report of two cases. Journal of the National Medical Association. 1991 Apr     [PubMed]
Markowitz HD,Chase M,Whitelaw GP, Isolated injury of the second tarsometatarsal joint. A case report. Clinical orthopaedics and related research. 1989 Nov     [PubMed]
Watson TS,Shurnas PS,Denker J, Treatment of Lisfranc joint injury: current concepts. The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 2010 Dec     [PubMed]
Greenberg ET,Queller HR, Tarsometatarsal (Lisfranc) Joint Injury in an Athlete With Persistent Foot Pain. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. 2016 Jun     [PubMed]

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