If you suffer a Lisfranc injury and do not get the necessary medical care for your injuries, you may develop complications that cause you pain and limit your mobility. While some midfoot injuries are relatively minor and may heal with conservative treatment, many of these injuries require surgery.
Complications May Develop If You Do Not Get Medical Care
Without proper medical care, a Lisfranc injury can heal incorrectly and lead to numerous complications. It is essential to have a doctor evaluate you after any traffic accident. Do not deem a painful, swollen, and bruised foot as an injury you can “walk off.”
Injuries to the Lisfranc joint can cause severe damage to the cartilage in the midfoot if left untreated. This damage prevents the joint from working properly. Without the cartilage, and with the added stress of poorly healed injuries, the foot will continue to sustain further damage with each step. Eventually, the arch may collapse, and arthritis may develop. Fallen arches require complex surgery and arthritis means lifelong pain.
Understanding How a Lisfranc Injury Occurs
Relatively minor ligament tears may occur during a slip and fall or trip and fall, but significant Lisfranc injuries and serious fractures usually occur in traffic accidents or other traumatic events. Lisfranc injuries can include fractures of the bones in the midfoot or ruptures and partial tears of the ligaments that connect them. These injuries range from simple cracks or partial tears to complex breaks and dislocations that involve several metatarsal bones.
If you suffer a Lisfranc injury, it is imperative that you get medical care as soon as possible. Without treatment, you will likely suffer complications. The most common signs of a Lisfranc injury include:
- Swelling on top of the foot
- Pain when weight-bearing, walking or flexing the middle of the foot
- Bruising on the bottom of the foot, as well as possible bruising on top of the foot
Treating a Lisfranc Injury to Prevent Serious Complications
Treatment for a Lisfranc injury focuses on restabilizing the joints and preventing further damage to the midfoot. Most injuries require surgical intervention. Your doctor may try conservative treatment first if:
- There are no Lisfranc fractures; and
- All the bones are in proper alignment; and
- The ligaments are not completely torn
When a doctor prescribes a conservative approach to treat a Lisfranc injury, this usually includes six weeks in a cast and several more weeks in a walking boot once X-rays show the midfoot is healing properly. During the first weeks following your injury, your doctor will likely ask you to be very careful not to put weight on the foot. This is important to ensure everything stays in alignment and begins the healing process.
If X-rays show movement or healing does not continue, your doctor will likely recommend surgery. They will also recommend surgery as the initial treatment if there are fractures, dislocations, or complete ligament tears. There are generally two types of surgery they may use to repair a Lisfranc injury:
The surgeon realigns the joints and uses screws or plates to hold them in place. These screws and plates allow the bones to heal in the correct position. Once they recover, the surgeon will go back in and remove the screws or plates. This second surgery is usually at least 12 weeks after the initial procedure. This allows the patient to regain most of the range of motion in the joint.
In some cases, the only option the surgeon has is to fuse the Lisfranc joints. This surgery is a last resort in most cases, used for the most severe injuries or when internal fixation fails. It allows all the joints in the midfoot to fuse into one immobile joint, severely limiting the range of motion in the midfoot. However, most people remain mobile and retain a normal gait following this procedure.
Pursuing Compensation After a Lisfranc Injury in Ohio
If you suffered a Lisfranc injury in an Ohio traffic accident and now face medical bills and time away from work, the team from Bressman Law can help. Let David Bressman and his team go to work for you today. We offer free case reviews and can help you pursue damages that may include:
- Medical care costs
- Future care costs
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damages including repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
Attorney David Bressman has helped accident victims for more than 30 years. We know how stressful it is and can offer you the support and guidance you need. Let us build a strong case and pursue the damages you deserve from the driver who caused your crash.