What is it, what does it do, what does it look like, and is Taysom Hill going to be ok?
As many of our clients know, Saints QB Taysom Hill suffered a foot injury in the last game of the season. The injury was to the Lisfranc joint. Since the game and reports on the injury to the Saints QB, many clients have asked me what exactly the injury is and how it will impact the unique play of Taysom Hill, who is a power runner, quarterback, tight-end, H-Back, and the like.
This is an injury we see often with athletes, with Taysom Hill being a prime example. Former Carolina Quarterback Cam Newton also suffered from the injury which sidelined him for quite a bit.
To that end, the Lisfranc's joint is where the forefoot meets the midfoot. It is the “top of the arch” of the foot and is very important is maintaining the arch.
We usually think of a joint as a point where two bones come together to provide movement. The Lisfranc's joint is a very complicated joint consisting of 9 separate bones. These 9 bones share a joint space and joint fluid and function as a single joint.
X-rays often can’t diagnose a Lisfranc's injuries because the damage is often to the ligaments holding the bones together not from the actual bone. This makes this injury difficult to diagnose and it is often missed. An MRI or CAT scan are the best test to diagnose a suspected Lisfranc's injury. Now, with professional athletes an MRI is typically protocol to get them back up and running sooner rather than later while ensuring that the good work that goes into the repair will hold.
Conservative treatment for minor Lisfranc's injuries may be by the doctor prescribing anti-inflammatory medications and a walking boot for 6 to 8 weeks. Allowing the ligaments to calm down and heal on their own. More severe Lisfranc's injuries involving ligament damage or broken bones may require surgical correction. For these more severe cases the joint is often fused.
In Taysom’s situation, it appears that he will have multiple surgeries to complete the repair.
In Taysom’s case, he was also dealing with a partially torn plantar fascia that may have limited his mobility and could have forced more pressure on the Lisfranc. Leading to the injury.
The range of motion of the Lisfranc's joint is minimal so fusing the joint does not result in any long-term disability. A full recovery could be expected and by next season, he should be back to his old self in 3-4 months.