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ligament ruptured in lisfranc injury

Lisfranc Injury

Lisfranc Fractures: Why They're Sidelining Rugby League Stars

As podiatrists, we see all sorts of foot and ankle injuries. But lately, there's been a trend in the news – Lisfranc fractures amongst Rugby League players. This serious injury can sideline even the toughest athletes for months, and it's a good reminder for everyone about the importance of foot health.

What is a Lisfranc Fracture?

The midfoot is a complex area where several bones (metatarsals) connect to the midfoot bone (cuneiform) and the arch of the foot. These connections are stabilized by strong ligaments. A Lisfranc fracture occurs when these ligaments tear or the bones break due to a forceful twisting or bending motion.

Why Are Rugby League Players Prone to Them?

Rugby League is a fast-paced, high-contact sport. Players change direction quickly, jump, and make powerful tackles, all of which put immense stress on the midfoot. A bad landing or a forceful twist can be enough to cause a Lisfranc fracture.

Recent Examples in Rugby League

We've recently seen high-profile cases of Lisfranc fractures in Rugby League. Just this year, Kalyn Ponga of the Newcastle Knights suffered this injury, requiring surgery and sidelining him for a significant period. This highlights the seriousness of Lisfranc fractures and the impact they can have on an athlete's career.

Symptoms and Treatment

Symptoms of a Lisfranc fracture can include:

  • Severe pain and swelling in the midfoot
  • Difficulty walking or putting weight on the foot
  • Bruising on the top and bottom of the foot

Diagnosis involves a thorough examination by a podiatrist, X-rays, and possibly an MRI scan. Treatment typically involves surgery to stabilize the bones and ligaments, followed by a long period of rehabilitation to regain strength and flexibility. Recovery can take anywhere from 3 to 12 months, depending on the severity of the injury.

Preventing Lisfranc Fractures

While some injuries are unavoidable, there are steps players and athletes can take to reduce the risk of Lisfranc fractures:

  • Proper footwear: Wear shoes that provide good support and stability, especially for high-impact activities.
  • Strength and conditioning: Regularly strengthen the muscles in the foot and ankle to improve stability.
  • Proper technique: Learning proper landing and tackling techniques can help reduce stress on the midfoot.
  • Listen to your body: Don't push through pain. If you experience midfoot pain, stop the activity and see a podiatrist for evaluation.

Don't Let a Lisfranc Fracture Sideline You

Lisfranc fractures are serious injuries, but with proper diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, athletes can make a full recovery. If you're experiencing midfoot pain, especially after a forceful twist or landing, it's crucial to see a podiatrist for an evaluation. Early diagnosis and treatment can lead to a faster and more complete recovery.

Remember, taking care of your feet is essential for staying active and performing at your best, whether you're a professional athlete or weekend warrior.

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