If you are into running or any activity that requires intense foot movement, you are prone to suffering from various injuries. In a study published by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, it concluded that the type of footwear worn by healthy runners directly impacts the injury risk while running. This is just one of many factors that will determine the runner’s risk for injury. Other factors such as weight of the runner and the stride can also impact injury risk.
If you’re a runner, then you might have heard about Lisfranc injury. It is a type of tarsometatarsal fracture that occurs when there is a trauma between the articulation of the medial cuneiform and the second metatarsal. This is the most common type of injury that involves the foot, which commonly affects runners.
Finding the right footwear is one of the best ways to prevent Lisfranc injury, as well as aid in the healing process when you have undergone surgery to fix this injury.
Treatment and Recovery from Lisfranc Injury
The Lisfranc joint is made up of a cluster of bones and ligaments. This cluster forms the base of the metatarsal bones. If there is impact or twisting action on the top of the foot that result in it being flexed forward, this can cause dislocation or fracture to the said bones.
This commonly affects the big toe and the second metatarsal bone. Certain types of sports such as snowboarding or wakeboarding are more prone to sustaining this type of injury since these bones are bound to the sports equipment.
If there is major trauma, surgery is required in order to treat the fracture and ligament tear. The goal of the surgery is to restore the original position of the bones and to bring back the original foot alignment.
The recovery from Lisfranc surgery can take about 6 to 12 weeks. During this time, you will be required to wear special walking boots or shoes, as well as a cast. There will also be a need for physical rehabilitation and therapy, depending on the extent of the injury.
Choosing Footwear for Lisfranc Injury
What role does footwear play in preventing injury for runners? This has been the subject of many studies in the field of sports medicine. As the technology behind footwear design continues to develop, there is a renewed commitment in delivering comfort and support but also in preventing injury.
Here are some of the factors to consider when you are shopping for new shoes post-Lisfranc surgery.
· Arch Support – Make sure to get them custom-molded or choose ones with great arch support to facilitate recovery.
· Thick and Rigid Sole – Your shoes should not bend or flex easily. You want something that maintains its shape regardless of your foot movement.
· Rear foot Control – This is another essential feature when choosing footwear for Lisfranc injury. This will give you more control over the mid-foot, which in turn can reduce the risk for injury and strain.
· Wide and Soft Square Toe box – The wider toe box help to relieve the pain on your big toe. At the same time, it provides enough room for your toes to breathe.
Best Shoes for Lisfranc Injury & After Surgery
Here is a list of the best shoes recommended for those suffering or recovering from Lisfranc injury.
Best Shoes for Men
1. New Balance Men’s 813 V1 Hook and Loop Walking Shoe
This is one of the best shoes for Lisfranc injury because it offers a smooth and steady stride. It is designed with a motion-control technology along with a ROLLBAR stability post system. The latter ensures better control with your rear-foot movement, which is crucial for Lisfranc injury and recovery.
It also integrates other essential features such as lightweight foam midsole, soft cushion, and soft collar. It helps stabilize your natural walking gait.
2. New Balance Men’s 928 V3 Walking Shoe
This is another excellent shoe for Lisfranc injury from New Balance. It is designed with the same ROLLBAR technology that offers enhanced stability to your feet. It is also integrated with a compression molded EVA midsole and dual-density PU inserts.
The choice of material and design deliver soft relief for your feet and improved stability with every step.
3. Crocs Classic Clog
This shoe is ideal for both men and women. It is a great choice for those who are recovering from Lisfranc injury because it comes with a pivoting heel strap that offers a more secure fit. This is an essential feature because you want rear movement control to ease the burden on your big toe and the front foot.
In addition, this clog is easy to put on and take off. It is very comfortable to provide relief for your foot.
4. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots
Merrell’s hiking boots are designed to deliver performance, durability, and versatility. When recovering from Lisfranc injury, this is a great option because of its good arch and heel support. In addition, it comes with a protective rubber toe cap and breathable mesh material.
It is designed to absorb shock and to provide additional stability with every step.
Best Shoes for Women
1. New Balance Women’s W1260 V5 Running Shoe
This is an excellent choice of footwear for women who are suffering or recovering from Lisfranc injury. It comes with a dual-density construction using soft EVA material. Hence, you can expect adequate support and cushion especially in the forefoot. The asymmetrical heel counter offers additional stability so that there is equal distribution of weight.
2. Brooks Beast 14 for Women
The Brooks Beast 14 for women is recommended for Lisfranc surgery and recovery because of its excellent arch support. It is one of the top-rated running shoes in the market that offers superior motion control. It is well-loved by runners because of its stability and a snug fit that keeps the feet secure without restricting the forefoot area.
3. Hoka One One Bondi 7
This women’s running shoe is another highly-rated shoe in the market, especially for those with Lisfranc injury. It offers excellent cushioning along with a smooth and balanced stride. The shoe is engineered with full EVA midsole so you can experience unparalleled comfort and less strain on the forefoot.
4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 for Women
With high arch support and a well-cushioned sole, the Adrenaline GTS 20 from Brooks is an excellent choice for women. Aside from the superior arch support, the smooth heel-to-toe transition and soft cushion makes it an excellent shoe for those suffering and recovering from Lisfranc injury. It’s no wonder why it is one of the best-rated running shoes in the market as it is also great for injury prevention.
Post-Operative Care for Lisfranc Surgery
Is it possible to return to sports or being active after a Lisfranc surgery? Yes, it is. The advancement in modern medicine has made it possible. But in order to facilitate your return to doing what you love and engaging in sports, you need to follow the proper post-operative care for your feet in order to facilitate full recovery.
Physical therapy is an important step in your process towards recovery. As mentioned earlier, the recovery time will vary from 6 to 12 weeks. It will depend on the extent of the injury and your fitness level.
Below are a few basic rules you need to observe as you help recover from the fracture:
· DO NOT walk barefoot.
· DO NOT wear flip-flops. They do not offer adequate support for your feet.
· DO NOT walk around the house wearing only your socks. It does not offer biomechanical protection for your feet.
· DO NOT wear flimsy shoes or slippers. It can be at risk of further aggravating your injury.
To start with, you must stay off of your foot during this time to allow the injury to fully heal and recover. If you are an active individual, this can be challenging but a necessary part of the process. A mobility device is needed so you can get around with ease.
You may use traditional crutches to provide support when walking, as well as knee walkers or hands-free clutch. Aside from the weeks post-surgery, more recovery time might be necessary in order to make full recovery.
Here are a few things that you can expect during the physical therapy and rehabilitation:
As you recover from surgery or treatment, you will experience swelling and pain in the site of the injury. There are several therapeutic modalities that you might undergo as you remove your cast and start to incorporate movement to your feet and ankle.
You might undergo electrical stimulation or whirlpool baths. The former uses neuromuscular electrical stimulation to help train your muscles to contract again. Depending on how fast your body is recovering, you need to be actively involved in performing these movement therapies and exercises in order to regain strength in your foot.
This is a specialized method of treatment as part of your rehabilitation process from Lisfranc surgery. Its main purpose is to help you restore your walking ability. Your physical therapy will provide you with an assistive device throughout your rehabilitation process, such as a cane or crutches. The ultimate goal is to restore your natural walking gait and train your foot to function normally.
Exercises and Therapy
In addition to the above methods of rehabilitation, there are also flexibility exercises that might be recommended by your therapist. These exercises will be focused on the muscles around your foot and ankle. It is also designed to not only restore movement but also increase strength in those muscles.
For those who want to return to their athletic performance level, plyometric exercises will be recommended. In addition, manual therapy such as in the form of foot mobilization might be added to your rehabilitation process, too.