Midfoot Anatomy

The midfoot is the middle region of the foot made up of bones that form the underlying arch. The midfoot bones have a complex relationship and are held together by large groupings of strong ligaments. These joint stabilizers are essential to upholding the structure of the midfoot, allowing the human body to walk and move around with ease. Once the ligaments or the bones are disrupted in any way, significant disability and pain may ensue. Midfoot fractures prevent the patient from a full range of motion and mobility without the proper assistance from an orthopedic specialist.

Lisfranc (Midfoot) Injury

An injury to the Lisfranc joint is a common condition acquired when a patient receives a midfoot fracture. This is an injury that is frequently unrecognized in those with chronic foot pain, however, even subtle damage to these joints may be the source of pain. Fractures can occur when the ligament supporting the Lisfranc joint complex rupture and cannot stabilize the joint or protect it from pressures while walking. Lisfranc fractures can develop in between the first and second metatarsal with any strain, tear, or dislocation of the joint.

Midfoot Fracture Symptoms

Midfoot fracture injuries may be obvious, and often time secondary to a severe injury, but many can be subtle and go undiagnosed without the appropriate testing. If clinically suspected, special stress x-rays or an MRI may be used to confirm a potential diagnosis. Here are some of the symptoms associated with midfoot fractures:

  • Swelling
  • Increasing pain with added pressure
  • Arthritis
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Bruising or blistering on the arch of the foot
  • Widening of the foot

Midfoot Fracture Recovery

Fractures of the midfoot can be mild and require minimal aggressive intervention, but more severe cases will require extensive stabilization of the foot. Any fracture or ligament injury pattern demonstrating even the smallest amount of internal disruption of the midfoot will require open reduction and internal fixation procedures. These surgical methods include stabilization of the midfoot through arthrodesis reconstruction to obtain the perfect alignment of the foot. Your midfoot injury will be orchestrated by stabilizing the ligaments and bones with a gradual increase in activity and weight bearing post-surgery.

Midfoot Fracture Treatment in Chicago

The risk of long-term arthritis and chronic pain significantly increases if the perfect surgical alignment is not obtained. For patients with severe injury and displacement to these joints, surgery by an experienced specialist is needed. The outcomes of surgery are directly related to the ability of the surgeon to realign the joints properly to prevent long-term pain. Dr. Vora is an experienced orthopedic surgeon who has designed a specific plate fixation system used for the treatment of midfoot fractures. This system is now used on both a national and international scale to avoid disrupting cartilage during surgery. Contact any of Dr. Vora’s office locations for comprehensive assistance with your foot or ankle condition today.

Fractures of the midfoot can be mild and require minimal aggressive intervention, or can be severe and require extensive stabilization of the foot. The midfoot bones have a very complex relationship and are held together by a complex group of strong ligaments that stabilize these joints. Once the ligaments or the bones are disrupted, significant disability may ensue. Pain, disability, swelling, and arthritis may result from incomplete treatment. These injuries may be obvious and secondary to a severe injury (i.e. a motor vehicle accident) or may be very subtle and may go undiagnosed if appropriate testing has not been performed. If clinically suspected, special stress x-rays or MRI imaging may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

Mild injuries with stable ligament and bony relationships can be treated with protected weight bearing and gradual increase in activity. Any fracture or ligament injury pattern, however, that demonstrates even the smallest amount of disruption of the normal relationships of the midfoot requires open reduction and internal fixation (surgical stabilization of the midfoot with screws) in order to obtain perfect alignment. The risk of long-term arthritis and chronic pain significantly increases if perfect surgical alignment is not obtained.

This is an injury that is commonly unrecognized in patients with chronic foot pain with subtle damage to these joints. For patients with severe injury and displacement to these joints, surgery by an experienced specialist in treating such disorders is necessary because outcomes are directly related to the ability of the surgeon to realign the joints appropriately initially to prevent long-term pain.

Dr. Vora has designed a specific plate fixation system used for the treatment of this type of injury. This system offers the advantage of avoiding additional cartilage injury during surgery, something that is now utilized nationally and internationally.

For more on this condition, also see:
Arthritis of the foot and ankle
Reconstruction after midfoot fractures (Lisfranc injury)