Lisfranc injuries encompass large spectrum of injuries varying from low energy to high energy complex fracture dislocations. Whilst multiple complex classification systems exist; these do little to aid and direct the clinical management of patients. Therefore, this study aims to provide a simplified treatment algorithm allowing clinicians to standardise care of Lisfranc injuries.
A comprehensive literature search was performed, and abstracts were reviewed to identify relevant literature.
Delay in diagnosis has a negative impact on outcome. If a Lisfranc injury is suspected and plain radiographs are inconclusive; computed tomography and if necessary magnetic resonance imaging are indicated if there is still an index of suspicion. In the absence of joint dislocation/subluxation management will be determined by stability which can be best assessed by weightbearing radiographs. If stable, injuries can be treated conservatively in a non-weight bearing cast for 6 weeks followed by a period of graduated weight bearing. Evidence is mounting that with regard to unstable purely ligamentous Lisfranc injuries primary arthrodesis (PA) has: better functional outcomes, increased cost effectiveness and reduced rates of return to theatre. With regard to bony unstable Lisfranc injuries more research is required before a single treatment modality – PA or open reduction internal fixation can be advocated, due to the lack of randomized control trials and limited patient follow-up periods in existing studies.
A simplified treatment algorithm excluding the requirement for complex classifications is suggested. This may help with the diagnosis and management of these injuries. It is our believe that this algorithm will aid health professionals to standardize care for these injuries. Further prospective research trials are required to assess outcomes of different modalities of operative management, particularly with regards to open reduction and internal fixation versus primary arthrodesis for bony Lisfranc injuries.
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