A Lisfranc injury (an injury to the midfoot) can be a very painful and debilitating injury if it is not correctly diagnosed and the appropriate treatment is given.
Severe long-term complications of a Lisfranc injury may include chronic pain, nerve damage, osteoarthritis, and problems with foot alignment.
Unfortunately, Lisfranc injuries are often missed or misdiagnosed. They are sometimes mistaken for ankle sprains and can be overlooked when patients have multiple traumas.
If you have suffered a Lisfranc injury that was missed or misdiagnosed by a healthcare professional, you may be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim.
What is a Lisfranc injury?
A Lisfranc injury occurs in the middle part of your foot. It can include ligament damage or breaking the metatarsal bones.
What causes the injury?
A Lisfranc injury is a complex injury that can occur through direct or indirect trauma. Direct trauma is often a result of road traffic accidents, crush injuries (such as heavy objects dropped onto your foot) and falls from height. Sporting activities, such as football, horse riding, cycling, snowboarding, and windsurfing are the most common causes of indirect trauma, often due to the foot being twisted.
What are the symptoms of a Lisfranc injury?
The symptoms of a Lisfranc injury or fracture will depend on the severity of the injury. According to physio.co.uk symptoms can include:
- Inability to weight bear
- Decreased muscle strength
- Decreased range of movement
- Decreased function
The swelling is commonly at the top of the foot and it can also include bruising at the bottom of the foot.
What does a Lisfranc injury feel like?
This depends on the severity of your injury. Some people experience severe pain immediately and cannot put any weight on their foot. Others feel as though they have a sprain, but when it does not get better after a few days, they eventually seek medical advice.
Key indicators you may have a Lisfranc injury include persistent pain, swelling of the foot and bruising (particularly on the bottom of your foot). If you are in any doubt, you should get it checked out or seek a second opinion from a medical expert.
How is the injury diagnosed?
If you have a Lisfranc injury, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis as early as possible.
Advice from an orthopaedic specialist should be sought at an early stage and you should avoid putting weight on your injured foot.
Your healthcare professional should ask questions about how the injury occurred and thoroughly examine your foot to determine the severity of the injury. X-rays and other imaging studies, such as MRI, may be necessary to fully evaluate the extent of the injury and reach an accurate diagnosis. The need for surgical correction may also be considered at this stage.
What will happen if my Lisfranc injury is missed or misdiagnosed?
If your Lisfranc injury is missed or misdiagnosed, it can lead to serious, life-changing consequences.
A possible early complication is compartment syndrome, in which pressure builds up within the tissues of the foot, requiring immediate surgery to prevent tissue damage. A build-up of pressure can damage the nerves, blood vessels and muscles in the foot.
Lack of appropriate early treatment may also result in malunion of the fracture (when the bone does not heal properly) and it may affect the stability of your foot causing your foot arch to collapse.
Arthritis may also occur further down the line leading to the need for additional treatment.
If your Lisfranc injury was missed or misdiagnosed, you may be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim. Medical negligence claims can be complex, so it is important to seek advice from a specialist lawyer with experience and expertise in these types of claims.
“For some people, the impact of a delayed diagnosis or a failure to diagnose a Lisfranc injury can have a devastating impact on their lives, preventing them from doing their normal day-to-day activities, whether that’s walking the dog, going shopping, taking part in sports or even doing their job.
“A compensation claim will consider both the financial and personal impact of your Lisfranc injury. Any settlement reached may include your pain and suffering, the costs of medical treatments, loss of amenity (any changes to your personal and social life as a result of your injury), loss of earnings (including future earnings), and any extra expenses, such as buying mobility aids, or travel costs to hospital appointments.
“Securing compensation can make a huge difference, reducing financial pressures and helping to put you on the road to recovery.”
Speak to Novum Law’s medical negligence team today
At Novum Law, we have a team of specialist medical negligence solicitors who can help you make a Lisfranc injury claim on a No Win No Fee basis.