16:49 PM

Chet Holmgren's Lisfranc Injury: From the View of Foot and Ankle Surgeon

SI.com interviews HSS foot and ankle surgeon David S. Levine, MD, to shed light on the typical prognosis and recovery from a Lisfranc injury, in wake of Oklahoma City Thunder NBA player Chet Holmgren's foot surgery.

According to Dr. Levine, who did not treat Holmgren, “A Lisfranc injury is a sprain (tear) of the ligaments that tightly hold the multiple Midfoot bones together. Normally, the Midfoot is a stable, immobile part of the foot when compared to the mobile/flexible Hindfoot (Ankle) or the Forefoot (ball of the foot/toes). If this injury is a minor/low-grade sprain, the Midfoot remains stable and surgery is not necessary. However, when the injury is a high-grade sprain, the stability of the Midfoot has been compromised. These injuries do not do well left alone and surgical treatment is necessary to restore the normal Midfoot stability.”

He explained, “While there are still those Lisfranc injuries that occur in car accidents and falls from a height, more and more these injuries are seen in sports. Classically, an athlete is running, jumping, leaping or landing and comes down ‘awkwardly’ (on someone else’s foot, for example). The Midfoot ‘buckles’ tearing the Lisfranc ligaments. The result in an ‘unstable’ Midfoot which is painful and unable to bear weight.”

Dr. Levine added, “The risk to future performance is the development of arthritis in the Midfoot. Midfoot arthritis causes pain and an inability to efficiently transmit power from the muscles of the leg to the ball of the foot for push-off.  This can manifest as a negative impact on quickness. The result could be less effectiveness on offense or defense or both.”

Read the full article at SI.com.