Friday, August 23, 2013

My Lisfranc Injury

As Lisfranc fractures are in the NFL media at the moment I thought I would share what I know. My diary page, My Lisfranc Injury, here goes into more personal detail on how I've been feeling, but this post is more informative.
  • Lisfranc injuries happen to less than 1 in 55,000 breaks! Less than 1% of total breaks worldwide!
  • A LF injury is, simply put, when the metatarsals move, fracture, dislocate or a tear occurs  in the ligament between the first and second MT  You can read much more about the ins and outs of the foot, but that's about it! But let's not under-estimate it, it's probably the worst foot injury you can have next to sticking your foot in a lawn mower!
  • Most people will not 'get it' - they assume it's 'just a broken bone' but actually it means you've screwed up your walking mechanism! The middle of your foot carries all your weight when you stand, walk, jog, run.
  • There are long term implications (further down the bullets) which are generally related to (a) how quickly you're diagnosed (b) how severe the damage is and (c) your age - so not good news for me personally.
  • It's fricking painful! Right up there with childbirth!
  • They're hard to spot on x-rays and approx 20% are not diagnosed immediately. I was caught 4 days post x-ray, but some LF'ers have gone much longer.
  • If you're lucky you might only slightly displace just one, or tear the ligament less than 2mm,which involves Non Weight Bearing (NWB) and gently rehabilitation.
  • More serious injuries involve more than a slight move. I managed to move from my little piggy that stayed at home right through to the one that cried wee wee wee all the way home! And break 4 of the smaller bones. And tear the ligament over 4mm.
  • So an operation becomes essential, usually an ORIF (Open Reduction Internal Fixation) and possibly a fusion. Let's hope you're not as nervous of anaesthetics as I am!
  • Now, depending on the severity, and your own surgeon, how they repair it varies. I have 3 screws and 3 scars. Other LF sufferers have wires, plates, screws that need removing, screws that don't. Go figure.
  • To prevent DVT's you will need to give yourself a daily Fragmin injection for anything up to 4 weeks depending on your health service. But be careful or you end up with some nasty bruises.
  • A plaster cast seems the norm for the first 2 weeks while you pray every day that a wound infection isn't developing under the cast. Then you may, or may not, need stitches out depending on your surgeon.
  • Trying to look after a child with SN when you're immobile and your husband works shifts is an interesting experience. And forget about housework, work, even showering involves imagination!
  • Being forced into lifts/elevators at the hospital when you're claustrophobic is one of the complications you might not consider. Likewise using crutches whilst NBW up 4 flights of a ferry is one for building arm muscles!
  • NWB follows for 6 - 8 weeks, followed by PWB for another 6 weeks, then intensive physio. Make sure your physio is very knowledgeable about your injury!
  • Depending on your health service you may get crutches - kneewalkers - another plaster cast- or a walking boot,
  • You may continue to suffer a lot of pain.
  • Your foot probably will swell most days for many months - that's when you're grateful your doc put you in a walking boot, not a cast!
  • Your foot will continue to go purple for months and months.
  • Your leg will atrophy - I've lost an inch around my leg in only 6 weeks.
  • Your skin will dry so much it's pretty revolting!
  • A second operation may be needed to remove the hardware.
  • I imagine with any break frustration boredom and depression sets in and LF sufferers are no different.
  • You forget what a good nights sleep is like - it's either the pain in the early days, or a plaster cast and cramp. In the last 7 weeks if I've woken up only 3 times I've had a good night :(
  • This one might be TMI - but trust me, you don't want a stomach bug while you're on crutches!
  • It might mess up holiday plans for you and your family, events that mean walking or driving, generally any plans you've made.
  • Once you start FWB you realise that an automatic car would be better! I think it will be at least 6 months from the injury to when I will be able to drive, and I think that's being optimistic.
  • My toes feel like they're rammed between the nail polish toe dividers, whilst at the same time having individual links of wire wrapped round the base of each toe.
  • When I start walking apparently it will probably be like walking on lego pieces that are on fire!
  • There is an 80% chance I will develop arthritis in later life.
  • At some point in the future if the hardwear breaks I will need another operation.
  • What the doctors consider normal recovery and what you might are probably going to be two different things!
  • There may always be some pain - I may have a limp - walking/standing for extended periods of time could be uncomfortable - the nerves may never return to all my toes ( a couple are still numb) - I may have to consider my future career as tutoring and nursery work involves hours of standing.
  • Not working is causing financial implications.
If you're a facebook fan there's a Lisfranc support page -well worth a visit :)
 But don't forget that's the worst scenario! Look after your injury, don't rush healing and keep that foot elevated!


  1. Oh sweetie :( I'm so sorry - it sounds horrific. Thinking of you xxx

  2. Holy moly that sounds like a horror show!!!!! I hope you can put this unpleasantness behind you soon!

  3. Sorry about your injury Suzanne, hope in time it recovers, must be very painful .
    Take care, thinking of you.



Love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts below. Suzanne xx