NFL star quarterback, Cam Newton, of the Carolina Panthers recently explained why he will be sidelined for weeks to come via public video. Well before the Panther’s game against Los Angeles Rams, in the preseason, Cam Newton discovered that he had difficulty running due to pain in his left foot.
It was later diagnosed as a Lisfranc injury, meaning damage to the bones or ligaments of the midfoot region. A Lisfranc injury is a special and well-known condition in podiatry named after the French surgeon and gynecologist, Jacques Lisfranc de St. Martin. The coining of this injury is an interesting story for another day.
A Lisfranc injury can easily be mistaken for a simple strain, causing it to be treated incorrectly. Since it is an injury that can include multiple joints and bones, it has a more complex treatment plan that might involve surgery and take up to months to heal. The complexity of the injury and treatment will depend on the number of joints involved.
Despite the number of joint inclusion, all Lisfranc injuries show cartilage damage to the midfoot. Cartilage is a component of the body that helps protect bones in movement. Deterioration of cartilage will lead to bone damage. This explains why untreated or improperly treated Lisfranc injuries can lead to arthritis of the foot.
Medical professionals treating Cam Newton must fully be aware of these details, thus Cam Newton’s inactivity in recent NFL games is a necessity to the longevity of his career.
Most Lisfranc injuries occur in a low-impact setting and can be as simple as a twist or stumble. More severe Lisfranc injuries occur from direct trauma to the area or fall from height.
Symptoms are parallel to that of a sprain, which includes: swelling, pain, and bruising. However, if standard treatment for a sprain (such as icing and elevation) does not reduce the pain or swelling, it is best to seek professional care.
For more information or medical advice regarding a potential Lisfranc injury, give us a call at 1-310-652-3668 today to schedule an appointment. Podiatrists are well trained in this specific category of injury, so give us a call if you are in the Beverly Hills, Los Angeles area.
Best of luck to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers! We will be following your injury closely.