Getting screwed (The first surgery)

Three days after I was finally diagnosed with a Lisfranc, I had the pleasure of being operated on. Yay. I was originally booked for surgery the next day, but the misdiagnosis had complicated the surgery and they required a lower-limb specialist. They told me that they were going to put in four screws, and they had to ‘scrape off the scar tissue’ that had already formed.


My four new friends.


I don’t think I actually knew what pain really was before this. When I came out from under the anaesthetic, my body went into shock from the searing pain even though I had the maximum morphine dose. I couldn’t stop crying, and I felt like my foot had been blown up like a balloon and filled with boiling water. After a couple of hours, the pain came in waves and my loved ones came to visit. I was pretty drugged up and I only remember alternating between making jokes with my family and sobbing while my boyfriend reassuringly stroked my hair.


Ready for a night out on the town.


I was discharged the next day. As I put my foot to the floor, I could feel the blood rushing into it. The pain was so much that I felt like passing out. I barely remember getting home, but my loved ones made sure I was settled and loaded me up with bedside snacks and entertainment. The next two weeks were hard. I was completely bed-ridden and needed people to do everything for me – including help getting into the shower, getting glasses of water, cooking meals and cleaning. Even going to the bathroom required planning because of the intense pain that hit me every time I moved my leg, let alone stood. It didn’t take long for me to start feeling helpless. I kept my spirits up thanks to the overwhelming support I had from the people around me – but that deserves a post in it’s own right.


Two weeks later, I had my cast removed to reveal the gloriously distinctive Lisfranc scars. I was put into a cam boot (or walking boot) and was instructed to stay non-weight bearing and this would be reviewed in six weeks time. I ended up non-weight bearing for the next 3 months.


The birth of Lisfrancenstein


What was your surgery like? What hardware did you get? Looking forward to hearing your stories, and feel free to ask any questions :)

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The downside to having a rare injury is that it’s diagnosis is somewhat specialist. Lisfranc injuries are commonly misdiagnosed – these lawyers have even specialised in suing for it. Crazy!

When I went to the hospital after my ill-fated jump, the doctor told me that I had a sprain, gave me some crutches and told me I’d be better in a week or so. In a week or so, my foot looked like this:


I still couldn’t put any pressure through my foot, which made the job I held at the time difficult. I went to a physiotherapist when my toes went black, who then referred me for more scans as he thought I had a lisfranc fracture. I had no idea what that was at the time, however I should have taken heed of his foreboding furrowed eyebrows.

I went to a radiology clinic the next day  in my lunch break to get another x-ray of my foot. I was pulled into a small room to ‘have a chat’ where the technician explained that I had broken at least 9 bones. My stomach dropped and I couldn’t believe I had spent the last several weeks with a broken foot.. at one point I had attempted to cross a river. With a broken foot!

They then self-referred a CT scan (which meant it did not cost me anything, phew!) to understand what was going on. The technician sat wide-eyed at the computer, shaking his head and I was told to go to the hospital immediately. I called work to let them know I wouldn’t be back for the day and headed over to the hospital with my partner where we waited for 9 hours (the joys of Australian emergency rooms) only to be referred to the hospital’s fracture clinic the next day. The doctor did apologise for it’s misdiagnosis, but again reiterated that these injuries are commonly missed and my original x-ray was ‘fuzzy’.

Was your Lisfranc injury originally misdiagnosed? I had all these broken bones for two weeks without knowing, how long did it take you to find out? I have a feeling I am not the only one, so I want to hear your story!

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How it happened.

The jump that ended it all.

I think I’ve told this story about 100 times. After a while, you have the telling down to a fine art! I was graduating from my postgraduate psychology degree, and was taking photos while throwing my graduation cap and jumping (as above, I’m on the left). I took an extreme ninja leap forward in an attempt to get an awesome photo and landed awkwardly on the wet grass. I heard a loud crack, and realised I couldn’t get up. Soon enough, ambulances were called to the middle of the university, and crowds were gathering around me. Wonderful.

Morphine whistles are awesome. It first tastes like floral nail polish but after several minutes of inhalation, it tastes fantastic. All the pain went away and suddenly I was a regular comedian, joking about how I had graduated with a medical school cohort and none of them came to help me; and about how this was a graduation I would never forget. The paramedics asked for a copy of the video (yes, there is a video) and laughed about how I had the best story of all the patients they’d seen recently. Luckily, my family and my partner were there and I had company for the 6 hour wait at the emergency ward.

The photo wasn’t even worth it in the end! How about you? Whats your lisfranc story? I’d love to hear it. Post your story in the comments!

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