The NFL's Lisfranc Plague - So What Exactly is a Lisfranc?
By: The Football Girl | Posted: October 10, 2012
With three Lisfranc injuries in two weeks, the NFL is dealing with a bit of a “Lisfranc Plague.” Ryan Kalil, the Panthers Pro Bowl center, was placed on IR today after discovering his Lisfranc injury requires surgery. Jets WR Santonio Holmes will also miss the entire season after suffering the dreaded Lisfranc a couple weeks ago. Cedric Benson, who suffered his Lisfranc last Sunday, was placed on the league’s new modified IR, meaning he must sit out eight weeks and can’t start practicing for six weeks.
What exactly is a Lisfranc injury, you may be asking? With the help of about 200 medical websites (ok, slight exaggeration), here is all you need to know about the foot injury taking the NFL by storm.
What it is Lisfranc? The Lisfranc joint complex is located in the midfoot and includes bones and ligaments that connect the mid-foot to the forefoot. Here is an illustration via the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
Who was Lisfranc? The Lisfranc joint was named after Jacques Lisfranc de St Martin, a French surgeon and gynecologist who lived from 1790 to 1847. In addition to his fame from this self-titled joint complex, he pioneered operations involving the removal of the rectum and amputation of the cervix. (Just reporting the facts, people.)
What causes the injury? The second metatarsal in the foot extends from toe into the small bones of the Lisfranc region. Because there is no connective tissue holding together the first and second metatarsals, a twisting motion, especially a fall, can cause the bones to become out of place. The frequency of falling in football is why these injuries are so commonplace in football versus the general public.
How severe is a Lisfranc? There are various degrees of a Lisfranc injury. In milder case where the bones are not out of position, a cast is required to allow the injury to heal, with full range of motion generally restored shortly after. In more severe cases surgery is required to set the bones, with pins and screws often used. A cast must also be worn for six-to-eight weeks. The healing process takes significantly longer.
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