Purpose: Lisfranc injuries are rare and often pose a challenge for surgeons, particularly in initially missed or neglected cases. The evidence on which subtypes of Lisfranc injuries are suitable for conservative treatment or should undergo surgery is low. The aim of this study was to retrospectively analyze treatment decisions of Lisfranc injuries and the clinical outcome of these patients within the last ten years.
Methods: All patients treated due to a Lisfranc injury in a German level I trauma centre from January 2011 until December 2020 were included in this study. Radiologic images and medical data from the patient files were analyzed concerning the classification of injury, specific radiologic variables, such as the Buehren criteria, patient baseline characteristics, and patient outcome reported with the Foot Function Index (FFI).
Results: Ninety-nine patients were included in this study (conservative = 20, operative = 79). The overall clinical outcome assessed by the FFI was good (FFI sum 23.93, SD 24.93); patients that were identified as suitable for conservative treatment did not show inferior functional results. Qualitative radiological factors like the grade of displacement and the trauma mechanism were more strongly associated with the decision for surgical treatment than quantitative radiologic factors such as the distance from the first to the second metatarsal bone.
Conclusion: If the indication for conservative or operative treatment of Lisfranc injuries is determined correctly, the clinical outcome can be comparable. These decisions should be based on several factors including quantitative and qualitative radiologic criteria, as well as the trauma mechanism.