Lisfranc injury rare in basketball
The Boston Globe reports on the Lisfranc injury of NBA player Chet Holmgren, who plays for Oklahoma City Thunder, and includes commentary from HSS foot and ankle surgeon Andrew J. Elliott, MD, who did not treat Holmgren.
According to Dr. Elliot, the injury is significant, occurring when the mid-foot ligaments are torn or ruptured when the foot is pulled in an awkward direction.
He continued, “The foot has to, in order for running and pushing off and jumping, has to act like a rigid structure. In acting like a rigid structure to hold all these bones together, the ones in the mid-arch region are very, very strong. There are three different things that can happen. One, the ligament can pull off the bone, and the second one is when the ligament tears right in the middle, or you can get fractures as well as tearing of the ligaments.”
Dr. Elliott said the Thunder aren’t being overly cautious by holding Holmgren out for the entire season, even though the season doesn’t begin for nearly two months.
“In basketball, I would equate them more as a wide receiver,” he said. “They’re doing a lot of running on a hard surface. And you’re probably looking at the earliest, depending on which joint was injured, six months, but more likely between nine to 12 months.
“The basic premise is you’re rupturing the ligament because the ligament is seeing a load to it that’s higher than what it can handle,” he added.
Dr. Elliott said he watched the play during which Holmgren was injured on video and believed it was caused by all of Holmgren’s weight landing on his foot as he tried to defend LeBron James.
“He’s done that a million times, but obviously this had a little bit more weight,” Dr. Elliott explained. “And it was a different vector of force that was going through it than he normally had seen. That’s the same for most people. It’s usually fall onto the foot or a pushing-off type of injury that usually has some torque type of moment, as well.”
Dr. Elliot noted that the most concerning aspect of this injury for the Thunder is it could cause arthritis or chronic pain even after fully healed.
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