The last thing you want as a dancer is any sort of damage to your feet. Your feet are pretty much essential, so it’s important to prevent foot injuries, like a Lisfranc injury at all cost.

What is a Lisfranc injury? A Lisfranc injury is a foot injury, also called a Lisfranc fracture. It happens when one more of the metatarsal bones gets displaced from the tarsus. Basically, it’s when bones in the mid-foot are broken or ligaments that support the foot are torn. A.k.a. a ballet dancer’s nightmare.

Unfortunately, Lisfranc injuries are very common in ballet dancers, specifically dancers on pointe, because of all the stress pointe dance causes the feet. If you’ve been having pain in your midfoot area, it’s important you see a doctor immediately before self-diagnosing or putting any further stress on the injured foot, or feet. It may be hard to take a break, but if you’re injured, your health comes first and foremost! The faster you act on your injury, the faster you’ll be back at the barre.

Here’s what you should know about Lisfranc injuries.

What causes a Lisfranc injury?

It’s important to know how to prevent injury when you’re dancing, and the best way to do that is through proper technique, so definitely check in with your dance teacher if you’re experiencing pain while en pointe. You want to correct your technique before an injury happens!

But what exactly causes a Lisfranc injury? According to Aspetar Sports Medicine Journal:

“Pain within the mid-foot may be caused by a lesion of the Lisfranc ligament, a tight double-layered ligament which holds the base of the second metatarsal to the medial cuneiform. In ballet dancers the Lisfranc joint is particularly stressed when going en pointe. An acute injury of the ligament may present with sudden onset of pain at the medial aspect of the midfoot, whereas chronic repetitive injuries of the Lisfranc ligament may only lead to vague discomfort or tenderness and therefore may not be clinically suspected.”

Let your dance teacher know where you’re experiencing the pain too so you can get to the root of the problem. It’s important you consult with a doctor ASAP if you think you’re injured, don’t ignore it and don’t rely on Google to tell you what to do!

Can a Lisfranc injury heal overtime?

This is probably highest on your priorities to know if you’re currently dealing with a Lisfranc injury. First, talk your doctor through your symptoms and go off of their advice. Sometimes a Lisfranc injury can be mistaken for a sprain, so it’s important to get a second doctor’s opinion if you really believe you have a Lisfranc injury. Listen to your body and be smart! The goal is to heal so you can dance. According to Orth info:

“A Lisfranc injury is often mistaken for a simple sprain, especially if the injury is a result of a straightforward twist and fall. However, injury to the Lisfranc joint is not a simple sprain that should be simply “walked off.” It is a severe injury that may take many months to heal and may require surgery to treat.”

Don’t walk off your symptoms, get a second opinion, and talk to your doctor about your options.

What is Lisfranc surgery?

Lisfranc surgery is essentially repairing the damaged ligaments and bones, restoring them to their original alignment.

To get more information on the surgery, consult your Orthopedist! 

Can a Lisfranc injury heal on its own? How long does it take to recover?

This depends entirely on the severity of your injury, which you won’t know until you consult with your doctor. If it hurts to dance, and especially if it hurts to walk on your foot or feet, see a doctor ASAP!

Depending on if you get surgery or not, you might have to wear a cast or special walking boot anywhere from 6-12 weeks, but this can vary. You’ll probably also need physical therapy before you can dance again. This time frame will depend solely on the advice of your doctor and surgeon! Do not decide on your own when you’re healed, make sure you listen to licensed medical advice and give yourself enough time to get back to where you were pre-injury.

Conclusion: Lisfranc Injury

The best way to prevent injury is to always listen to your body and follow proper technique! Consult with your dance teacher about what you may be doing wrong if you’re experiencing any pain and go to your doctor to get a diagnosis.

 You can also prevent injury with dancewear that fits all your basic dance needs with Ballet Box!

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