Salvage of Lisfranc's tarsometatarsal joint by arthrodesis

Author(s): Sangeorzan BJ, Veith RG, Hansen ST Jr


Sixteen patients with fractures or fracture-dislocations of the tarsometatarsal (Lisfranc) joint who failed initial treatment were salvaged by arthrodesis using a technique of rigid internal fixation. Preoperative symptoms included local pain in all patients, progressive flatfoot deformity with forefoot abduction in 12 patients, and ankle or lateral impingement pain in five. The technique involved exposing the joint, denuding it of cartilage and scar, and reduction and fixation with lag screws. A total of 49 joints were fused. When significant deformity was present, reduction was performed before arthrodesis. Clinically symptomatic and radiographically proven nonunion occurred in four sites in three patients. One healed after revision. Good to excellent results were obtained in 11 patients (69%). Five patients had a fair or poor results. All but one of the patients were subjectively improved. Four patients were symptom free and returned to their preinjury lifestyles. Accurate reduction and early treatment had a significant positive relationship with outcome. Injuries that occurred in the workplace and those that incurred a long delay until treatment showed a significant negative correlation to outcome. Neither the age of the patient nor the number of joints fused had a significant impact on result.

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