Magnetic resonance imaging of the Lisfranc ligament of the foot

Hollis G. Potter, Jonathan T. Deland, Peter B. Gusmer, Eric Carson, Russell F. Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Early recognition of subtle Lisfranc injuries is important, because deformity and disability may develop after initially unremarkable radiographs. The authors studied 23 patients (mean age, 25.4 years) with a history of midfoot trauma with both radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). When compared with the uninjured side, diastasis on radiographs ranged from 0 to 2 mm. The MRI revealed 2 intact ligaments, 3 complete tears, and 18 partial tears. All patients with complete tears had at least 2 mm more displacement between the second metatarsal and medial cuneiform, compared with the unaffected side. Because of the presence of complete or near complete rupture, seven patients underwent surgery, and the degree of rupture was confirmed. MRI of five cadaver specimens was also performed, disclosing discrete dorsal and plantar components. MRI was found to be useful in identifying Lisfranc ligament tears. If there is clear diastasis on weightbearing radiographs, MRI is not indicated. Whereas radiographic findings may be equivocal, however, MRI may accurately disclose the degree of ligament disruption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-446
Number of pages9
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1998


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