A Lisfranc Injury Causes a Thunderstorm in Oklahoma City

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced that the No. 2 pick of this year’s NBA draft, Chet Holmgren will miss his entire first season after suffering a Lisfranc injury to his right foot while playing in the CrawsOver Pro-Am event three weeks ago. Holmgren underwent surgery on Aug. 30 that was successful.

The Thunder remain optimistic that Holmgren will return at full strength for the 2023-24 season after suffering such a severe injury. Although Holmgren’s untimely injury costs him a chance to play and Thunder fans the chance to see their franchise’s highest draft pick since taking Kevin Durant at No. 2 before moving to Oklahoma City, the track record of other top picks sidelined by injury during their first season suggests it shouldn’t be a major detriment to his development.

A lisfranc foot injury is usually caused by some sort of accidental fall or trauma to the foot. In the middle region of your foot (midfoot), a cluster of small bones form an arch. This area of the foot is important in stabilizing your arch and transferring the force from your calves to the front of your feet. Injuries usually occur from a twist and fall, a fall from a height, or a motor vehicle accident.

A lisfranc joint injury results in pain and swelling from your initial fall or accident. The severity of your symptoms will correlate to how bad your injury is and how long ago it happened. Some symptoms include: pain that worsens with standing or walking, bruising and swelling on the top and bottom of the foot, and inability to put weight on your foot or ankle.

A lisfranc injury is very serious and should be treated immediately so it doesn’t cause complications later in life. To definitively diagnose your Lisfranc injury, a thorough physical exam is completed, we will order X-rays, and sometimes more detailed imaging like an MRI or CT is needed to determine severity of the injury, and check for any other injuries.

Nonsurgical treatment is possible if there are no fractures or dislocations in the joint and the ligaments are not completely torn. During treatment, a patient will wear a cast or boot for six weeks before progressing to weight bearing in a removable boot.

If your injury was more severe, surgery may be needed. Based on imaging and severity of injury it will be determined whether you need an open reduction and internal fixation or a joint fusion. These are both done with a combination of plates and screws in order to put your bones back in the correct alignment. It is possible that this hardware may need to be removed at some point. After surgery, you will likely wear a cast or splint for six weeks, then progress to a boot.

Lisfranc joint injuries often cause arthritis in the injured bones of your foot. This might cause chronic pain in the region. You are more likely to develop arthritis if you had a severe Lisfranc joint injury that damaged much of the cartilage in the region. Lisfranc injuries are easily missed at initial visit, so it is important to see a specialist that can determine the proper treatment needed to prevent problems in the future.

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