The Lisfranc joint is that piece in the middle of your foot that allows you to bend your foot as you walk. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the joint is named after the French surgeon Jacques Lisfranc who developed an amputation technique in Napoleon’s army to remove gangrene once it set into the toes. A mid-foot sprain or injury to this joint often is misdiagnosed. Early correct detection can lead to quicker rehabilitation.
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Once diagnosed, immobilization of the foot is recommended. You may receive a short walking cast or removable orthotic device to occasionally bear the brunt of your weight. The early treatment for a mid-foot sprain involves non-weight bearing stability. If you put weight on your injured joint, it could cause a permanent disability. With your foot wrapped, you can move around with the help of crutches or a walker. Walking and leg strengthening exercises for those first four to six weeks will help you maintain your mobility. Wiggle your toes regularly while wearing the cast to maintain good circulation.
After the cast comes off, you should engage in a strict pattern of stretching exercises every morning and throughout the day to keep your foot limber and to prevent stiffness. Before you even get out of bed, stretch the top of your foot by pointing your toes downward while you're still lying in the bed. Hold the stretch without bouncing your foot for 10 seconds, release and repeat three times. Move your foot from side to side slowly. Then reach down and grab behind the top of your foot and slowly tug it towards your body. Again, hold for 10 seconds, release and repeat. Perform the foot-stretching exercises at least two more times during the day.
Leg Strengthening Exercises
It's important to strengthen your leg muscles as your rehabilitation continues to provide additional support to your weakened foot. Use ankle weights to add resistance and build upper and lower leg strength. Strap a one-pound weight around your ankle and lie on the floor flat on your back. With your legs outstretched, lift your leg as high as you can, hold it for a few seconds, lower and repeat 10 times. Repeat the exercise on the other leg. Use a stability ball for added intensity. Lie on the ball on your stomach and balance yourself by placing your hands flat on the floor in front of you. Slowly lift one leg, hold, release and repeat. Repeat on the opposite leg. Once you've gained strength, perform the backwards leg lifts with ankle weights.
Lower Leg Exercises
As you continue to recover, you may find high-impact sports and exercise cause pain in your mid-foot. According to the Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, a mid-foot sprain is a serious injury and may preclude you from participating in a number of high-impact activities. Exercises that strengthen your calves and shins will help keep you more mobile. Try the standing calf raise by standing facing a wall about 6 to 12 inches away with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands flat on the wall. Lift your heels off the floor while supporting your weight and balancing yourself on the wall. Exhale as you rise and then inhale as your lower your heels. Repeat 10 times.