Research Article| Volume 62, ISSUE 2, P261-266, March 2023

Morphology of the Lisfranc Joint Complex


      Lisfranc injuries are complicated injuries of the tarsometatarsal joint with high rates of sequelae. Both anatomy and injury of the Lisfranc joint are variably documented. Descriptions of these injuries and their associated structures vary greatly. The most injured structures are those of the Lisfranc joint complex, which involves the medial cuneiform, second and third metatarsals, and the dorsal, interosseous, and plantar Lisfranc ligaments. This study sought to examine morphology of the Lisfranc joint in cadavers. Twenty-two embalmed cadaveric feet were dissected (13 male, 9 female, 80.3 years ± 14.03) to isolate the bones and ligaments of the Lisfranc joint complex. The dorsal, interosseous, and plantar Lisfranc ligaments were present in each specimen. Each ligament was measured and morphology noted. The dissected dorsal Lisfranc ligament had consistent morphology (mean = 10.8 mm ± 1.79). The interosseous Lisfranc ligament had a consistent path, but 11/17 of specimens possessed a connection to the plantar Lisfranc ligament. The plantar Lisfranc ligament demonstrated wide variability with a Y-variant (n = 3) and a fan-shaped variant (n = 14). Ligament thickness was greatest in the interosseous Lisfranc ligament (mean = 13.74 ± 3.08) and least in the dorsal Lisfranc ligament (mean = 1.36 ± 0.42). While the objective of defining joint and ligament morphology was achieved, further questions were raised. Variations of the interosseous and plantar Lisfranc ligament may play a role in susceptibility to joint injury, and arthritic changes to the joints examined raise questions regarding the prevalence of arthritis in the uninjured Lisfranc joint.

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