By Megan Rhule
The Denver Broncos are beloved by all, and rightly so, but even they aren’t immune to foot injury. In their October 26th game against the Kansas City Chiefs defensive nose tackle Mike Purcell suffered a Lisfranc injury. The name may be confusing, but the severity of an injury like that is nothing to just ‘walk off’. A Lisfranc injury, or Lisfranc fracture, is when one or more of your metatarsal bones are separated from your tarsus. Each of your toes is connected to a long bone called a metatarsal. These long bones all eventually connect with the robust tarsus, a cluster of five bones that help form the arch of your foot. The five bones of the tarsus are the cuboid, the navicular, and three cuneiform bones. These bones are linked with your metatarsal bones by small ligaments called the, you guessed it, Lisfranc ligaments. These ligaments are tiny but keep your bones right where they should be. Like Mike Purcell though, anyone is susceptible to a Lisfranc injury. Excessive strain, pressure, or impacts on the center of your foot can lead to one or even all of your metatarsal bones separating from its place on the tarsus.
Now you may be thinking about your own feet and wondering if you may have a Lisfranc injury yourself. We spoke with our own Dr. Zeno Pfau and had him break it down. Common symptoms of Lisfranc injury are swelling or bruising in the middle of your foot. You could also be experiencing pain when you walk or put weight on the potentially injured foot. Remember the Lisfranc injury or fracture can be caused by any number of accidents. Anything from dropping heavy objects on your foot to stepping awkwardly and putting too much pressure on the middle of your foot can lead to an injury.
Unlike a minor sprain or cramp, a Lisfranc injury or fracture is not something treatable with a home remedy. These injuries require careful testing and treatment to resolve properly. If untreated, a Lisfranc injury or fracture can lead to further damage of the metatarsal and tarsus regions of the feet. If the issue is serious enough, the small bones may heal incorrectly or in incorrect orientations, causing lifelong stiffness and pain.
If you, like Mike Purcell, experience a Lisfranc injury be sure to contact Pueblo Ankle and Foot Care immediately for treatment. In the short term though, there are some steps you can take to reduce your pain. First of all be sure to take it easy when walking. If you do have a Lisfranc injury avoid putting too much weight on your injured foot. Use crutches if you have them available to you. Another step to help reduce the swelling is to ice the affected area. If it is safe for you to do so you can also take anti-inflammatory medication to temporarily relieve the swelling and pain before your appointment.