Midfoot Fractures

A midfoot fracture, also known as a Lisfranc fracture, occurs when there is an injury to the ligaments and bones in the midfoot section of the foot. The midfoot section is made up of bones and ligaments that connect the metatarsals to the midfoot, and these bones make up the arch of your foot.

Do not be confused, a midfoot fracture is not the same as a sprain, even though the symptoms and causes may be very similar.


Symptoms of a midfoot fracture include:

  • Tenderness and swelling at the area of injury and the top of your foot
  • Worsening pain when walking or standing
  • Bruising at the top and bottom of the foot (bruising at the bottom of the foot is the strongest indicator of a midfoot fracture and not a sprain)
  • Being unable to walk by yourself


Causes of a midfoot fracture include:

  • Twisting your foot in a fall
  • Falling from a great height
  • Injuring your foot while it is flexed


A history of the injury and a physical examination of the foot will be conducted by the Doctor. He will look for the location of bruising, and may check on your area of pain by gently pressing on the foot. Your doctor may also ask you to stand on your toes to see if it results in pain to your midfoot.

Imaging tests will be taken, such as x-ray, MRI scan and CT scan to find out the exact location of the fracture and if any of the ligaments are injured.


Depending on the type and severity of the injury, treatment options will vary for a midfoot fracture. Nonsurgical treatment options for a mild fracture include:

  • Icing the injured area
  • Resting the foot
  • Crutches to support your weight when moving about


If the fracture is more severe, your foot may be put in a cast, up to 6 weeks. Should your injury not improve after these 6 weeks, surgery may be recommended. A surgical procedure called internal fixation will be carried out, which involves aligning and holding the bone fragments together with pins, screws or metal plates. The bone fragments will be held in place for healing.

Another surgical procedure that may be carried out is known as fusion. The bones of your midfoot get fused together to heal and form a single bone by removing the damaged cartilage around your joints, and the bones are held together with screws.

For treatment by surgery, the pins, screws or plates will be removed 4 to 6 months after the surgery is completed.