Anatomic Predisposition to Ligamentous Lisfranc Injury: A Matched Case-Control Study

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555-0165. E-mail address for V.P. Panchbhavi: .
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (Impact Factor: 5.28). 11/2013; 95(22):2043-2047. DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.K.01142
Source: PubMed


Subtle, or ligamentous, Lisfranc injuries occur following low-energy trauma to the midfoot and can be debilitating. Since they are ligamentous, they may not heal, requiring arthrodesis in some cases. Certain mortise anatomic characteristics on radiographs have been shown to be associated with a predisposition to the ligamentous subtype of Lisfranc injuries. It is not known whether there are other morphometric characteristics, such as arch height or the relative length of the second metatarsal, that can similarly influence the predisposition to these injuries.
The present retrospective matched case-control study involved fifty-two control subjects and twenty-six patients with ligamentous Lisfranc injuries treated from 2006 to 2010 at two institutions. Clinical and radiographic data (second metatarsal length relative to foot length, first intermetatarsal angle, navicular-cuboid overlap relative to cuboid vertical height, first metatarsal-talus angle, and calcaneal pitch angle) were examined for the existence of significant differences between control and Lisfranc subjects. Logistic regression analysis was then performed to evaluate potential risk for injury on the basis of these anatomic variables.
Compared with matched controls, patients with a ligamentous Lisfranc injury were found to have a significantly smaller ratio of second metatarsal length to foot length (p < 0.001) on weight-bearing radiographs.
Occurrence of a ligamentous Lisfranc injury was shown to be associated with a smaller ratio of second metatarsal length to foot length; >50% of patients in the injury group had a ratio of <29%.
Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    ABSTRACT: In fifteen patients, a subtle injury of the Lisfranc joint (tarsometatarsal articulation) was found. The lesion was defined as a diastasis of two to five millimeters between the bases of the first and second metatarsals, as seen on anteroposterior radiographs. There often was a long delay between injury and diagnosis. Eight patients were treated with a below-the-knee cast only, three had treatment with a cast and then tarsometatarsal arthrodesis, two had no initial treatment but later had arthrodesis, and two had open reduction and internal fixation. The duration of follow-up ranged from two to thirteen years after the diagnosis. There was no correlation between the severity of the diastasis and the patient's functional result. Marked disability and pain persisted in seven patients, and six of them had flattening of the longitudinal arch. Maintenance of the longitudinal arch usually was associated with a better functional outcome. When a patient has a subtle injury of the Lisfranc joint, weight-bearing lateral radiographs of both feet are needed to identify flattening of the longitudinal arch. Such radiographs should be made routinely in the evaluation of all injuries of the foot that may involve the Lisfranc joint.
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    ABSTRACT: Injuries to the tarsometatarsal (Lisfranc) joint are not common, and the results of treatment are often unsatisfactory. Since no individual is likely to see many such injuries, we decided to make a retrospective study of patients from five different centres. In this way 119 patients with injuries of the Lisfranc joint have been collected. This paper classifies these injuries and describes their incidence, mechanism of production, methods of treatment, results and complications. Sixty-nine of the patients attended for review: 35 of these had been treated by closed methods, 27 had had an open reduction and seven patients had had no treatment. On the basis of our study we suggest that these injuries should be classified according to the type of injury rather than the nature of the deforming force and that their treatment be based upon this classification. It seems that, whatever the severity of the initial injury, prognosis depends on accurate reduction and its maintenance.
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