Linfranc

My Life with Lisfranc

As cliche as this is going to sound, it’s the truth. A little over 10 weeks ago my life changed forever. I’ve broken my fair share of bones, had a lifetime total of 4 concussions — 3 minor with a little memory loss and one major that landed me in the hospital for a day and over a full 24 hours of memory loss. To this day I can only account up until around 10am that morning and don’t remember anything until waking up the next day around noon. Every bone I’ve broken was the normal 4-6 week healing process, and then I was right back to normal. My right ankle has taken the worst hits. 3 small fractures and a number of sprains best left uncounted. Were those injuries painful? Yes, but they really weren’t anything that made me lose sleep at night.

10 weeks ago I was in an accident while driving a side by side (UTV) I was ejected and suffered what is known as a lisfranc fracture in my right foot. I had never heard of this injury and wish I never had. In layman’s terms a lisfranc fracture is when the metatarsal bones of your foot break and also dislocate. Usually most people who suffer a lisfranc fracture only break a few metatarsals and the dislocation is minor. Obviously I wasn’t that lucky. I broke all 5 metatarsals and pretty severely dislocated them. The side by side I was driving rolled over and when I was ejected I landed outside the cab and the roll cage crushed my foot as the UTV landed. I also cut the bottom third of my right ear off on the roll cage while I was being ejected. Not to fear though! My girlfriend is a nurse and held it in place until we arrived at the hospital and they sewed that bad boy right back into place. After my initial X-Rays I still hadn’t really grasped how bad the injury was. I visited my surgeon a day later and after she explained how serious everything was and told me that this injury was almost always life altering in some way. Every case of a pro athlete I could find who has suffered a lisfranc fracture (not a lisfranc sprain) ended their career and never played in their respective sports again. And after coming home and doing a load of internet searching the news was even more bleak. The stories were everywhere of never walking normal again, the arthritis that started after recovery, never being able to run again, and so on. I got really scared and knew that I needed to do everything my surgeon said, and hope that being young with good bones would work in my favor.

3 days after the accident I had Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF) surgery to put my foot back together and start the long road to recovery. ORIF surgery basically just means that surgery is needed to put a bone back in place and that it will be held together will screw(s). My surgeon initially thought it would take 2 screws for my injury. After opening my foot she found that I had shattered 2 spots on my mid-foot where the metatarsal used to connect. The surgery ended up taking 4 screws and about and hour longer than planned.

I was put into a cast and scheduled for a check up 2 weeks later. The first two weeks after surgery were completely depressing. Anytime my foot wasn’t elevated it would immediately swell up, turn a dark reddish purple color, and go completely numb. I ended up making a pillow fort on my couch and really didn’t move other than to crutch to the bathroom and to undertake the immensely complex process of showering. Thank god for my parents and girlfriend who spilt taking time off and vacation time so I was never alone and didn’t have to fend for myself and risk hurting myself trying to move around. The pain was pretty bad and I spent most of the 2 weeks counting down the hours until the next pain pill and some relief. My girlfriend did let me upgrade our living room to a new 70″ TV a few days after surgery so the pillow fort and new TV did help ease my pain a little. The picture below is a POV from the pillow fort prior to upgrading to the new TV. Can you believe she forced me to watch TV on a measly 55″!?

 After the first two weeks were finally up I had my first visit to the orthopedic office since the pre-surgery appointment. The surgical cast was removed, stitches removed and a new lighter weight cast was put on. I also got my first look at the lifeless brick at the end of my leg that I used to call my foot.

 

 

 

 

The next 2 weeks were quite possibly 2 of the worst weeks of my life. I was introduced to the unbelievable hell that is nerve pain. The only thing I can compare it to is being hit with a taser in the foot over and over with no way to make it stop. The nerve pain was actually a good sign of activity in my foot and that it was healing, but at the time it was the last thing on my mind. The nerve pain happened at no normal intervals or time of day. It seemed to be the worst at night which really started to get old and made it almost impossible to sleep. Sleeping in a cast is hard enough but combining that with nerve pain is a recipe for a really long few weeks. I ended up being on a sleep schedule that consisted of staying awake until I was so tired the nerve pain and sleeping position didn’t matter because my body was too exhausted to stay awake. Days and nights started blurring together and I really started getting depressed. The highlight of my day was waking up (usually in the afternoon) showering and then crutching down the steps. The rest of the day was spent on the couch and hobbling back and forth to the kitchen. The novelty of hanging out on the couch had wore off and I was completely over not being able to go outside in the unseasonably warm weather or even carry anything from the kitchen. I did research and finally decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and found a device that was an absolute god send for my situation. The device was a hands free crutch that actually allowed me to walk on my own with both hands free. It wasn’t ideal but I was actually able to go back to work (with lots of help from my dad lugging all my gear around.) I filmed and photographed a few real estate projects and really did keep myself from completely losing my mind.

After 6.5 long weeks in a cast I had my next ortho appointment to remove the cast and see what my next steps were. The cast was cut off and I was placed in a walking boot and cleared to walk but still with the full use of crutches. I also got to see the lifeless brick on my leg again and this time it wasn’t as swollen but was scaly and pretty freighting to look at.I was sent home in the boot and told again that absolutely no more than 50% weight on my foot. The first night in bed with no cast was like sleeping for the first time. I was able to sleep on my stomach and slept through the whole night without waking up from a cast pinching or twisting my ankle. It seems like a small win, but it was huge at the time.

At week 9 I had another appointment with my surgeon and wasn’t sure what to expect. She looked at my foot had me test my toe flex and also pushed a few spots and ask how it felt. That’s when I finally heard what I had wait over 2 months to hear. I was cleared to walk normally with my boot and was told to start wearing special shoes around the house as much as I could without being uncomfortable.

To spare you from having to read any longer today is over 11 weeks since the accident and almost exactly 11 weeks since the surgery. I’ve been off the crutches for a little over a week and can walk in my boot with almost no pain. The first steps I took with no crutches after 2.5 months was similar to the first time I tried bacon. I felt like a bird that had just learned to fly. I’ve been using sneakers around the house and other than the weak ankle I’ve progressed much quicker than they thought. I have my first PT appointment this week and can’t wait to start the process of getting back to normal. Last week was my first time back out shooting on my own and it felt wonderful. I obviously have my limits, but I’m going to continue to be positive and grateful that I even have the chance to make a full recovery and walk again.

I want to say thank you to all my clients who contacted me and expressed their concerns and wished me a speedy recovery. I also want to thank those people for their unbelievable compassion and understanding for projects that were put on hold because of my situation. It was nice to know I wasn’t losing business because of the accident and did help me sleep at night. Thank you all so very much from the bottom of my heart.

I obviously couldn’t write this without expressing the utmost gratitude to my parents and my wonderful girlfriend Heather. You’ve all already been through so much with me over the last year and supporting and believing in me while I left a full-time job and started my business. I wouldn’t be where I was today without all 3 of you. This accident/recovery have once again humbled and reassured me I have the best family in the world. I love you 3 so much it hurts.

Thanks again to everyone for the support and I look forward to seeing all of you in what is sure to be an exciting and eventful 2016!

PS. Kids wear your helmets and seat belts. Every single time. No matter what. This entire situation would have been avoided if I had done both of those things, and I was lucky that I wasn’t hurt worse than I was. Please don’t be stupid. Take it from the kid hobbling around with screws in his foot. We only get one chance at life, don’t ruin it from an accident that could be avoided.

Be Safe.
Be Kind.

Comments 14

  1. Bob

    I enjoyed reading your story about the Lisfranc injury. Based on the research I have done on the injury you are VERY lucky to be recovering so well so fast; you must of had a good surgeon! I got a subtle Lisfranc injury about 12 weeks ago and have been in and out of casts and boots. Unfortunately, I started physical therapy for a sprained ankle before they discovered the Lisfranc Ligament tear and I believe it resulted in further injury. About 6 weeks after the original injury my Orthopedic Physician ordered an AP Weightbearing X-Ray of my foot to look for a potential stress fracture due to the worsening pain in my midfoot. Doctor said everything looked good and dx’d me with a stress fracture. I got my hands on the radiology report a few days later and the radiology noted separation between the bases of the first and second metatarsals due to a possible Lisfranc injury. I questions my doctor about this and he said it was not clinically significant. I probably read 10 case studies, looked at 100’s of x-rays, and significantly researched the anatomy of the foot and the particular injury. After my research I determined I needed to demand an MRI which he said that I did not need. I then demanded an MRI again and he finally, but reluctantly ordered the test. The MRI showed a Partial Lisfranc Ligament tear with marrow edema and bone contusions in the area. Needless to say I switched doctors and the new doctor says I should have had surgery early on. Due to waiting almost 12 weeks, my new doctor recommends conservative treatment and to wait and see if it will heal up on its on, before resorting to surgery. Anyway, I feel like my foot is doomed and that I will never be able to do the things I love again. I guess if the conservative treatment doesn’t work I will go for surgery and hopefully that will work. I am in the boot for 6 more weeks and it is getting tough as I have been handicapped for 12 weeks now and am in the boot for 6 more weeks. Your story gave me hope that my foot will heal, if not on its own, then with surgery. Hope you are doing much better and that you can run, jump, and do normal things!

    1. Logan Marks

      Hi Bob! I’m sorry I never responded to this comment when you posted it. My blog is constantly spammed and I never see the actual comments people post. I hope you’ve recovered well!

  2. Meegs

    Thank you… I’m laying in bed now… elevated… pins and needles, nerve pain… first week out of plaster into fibro cast for next 5… BORED .. watching my leg fade!!! 4 kids and nearly Xmas… feeling.. FLAT!
    But I will get there!!
    It’s nice to know that the feeling is normal of the aches as I thought I might not be healing as it’s quiet painful at night!

    1. Logan Marks

      Keep your head up. I know the feeling, I was in my cast for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. But don’t rush things and let everything heal all the way so you can get back to normal. I just had my second surgery a month ago to remove all the hardware. The stiffness is getting better and other than running, everything is pretty normal!

  3. patricia o'connell

    Logan,

    I am so glad I found this. I am 3.5 weeks post surgery (5.5 post injury) and am getting my cast off on Monday. Your story gives me a lot of optimism that full recovery is possible. Thank you for taking the time to be of inspiration to those of us who are less far along in the process.

    Patrica

    1. Logan Marks

      Hi Patricia! I’m so sorry I never responded to this when you posted it. My blog gets piles of spam and I never see actual comments 🙁 — I’ve been keeping it cleaned out and read this. I hope you’ve made a good recovery and life is back to normal. I’ve recovered about 75% and I think that’s the best it will ever get. However, with the severity of my injury I’m happy to have came this far. I’ve started dealing with random arthritis flare ups, but other than that, I can’t complain. Wishing you the best!

  4. Michael

    Hi mate, I was googling lisfranc and came upon your blog. I had a very similar lisfranc injury to you down to the Xray and operations. Ortho did say there was joint disruption and I would develop arthritis.

    Only 2 weeks postoperatively and nerve pain starting.

    Just wondering how you were doing a year down the track. Like you, I’m terrified of never being able to walk again without debilitating pain or an ungainly limp. Do you wear orthotics lifelong? I am realistic in that my running career is over.

    Thank you for your help.

    1. Logan Marks

      Hi Michael! Sorry for missing this comment. I miss stuff way to often because of the constant spam comments. This past November (17′) was 2 years post surgery for me. I had a second surgery in November of 2016 to remove all the hardware from my foot. My surgeon thought it was the best choice considering I was only 25 when the injury happened and if the screws were left in place forever they may have caused more issues than the injury itself. However, I’m sure what you’re curious is how life is for me at this point. I would say I’ve recovered about 75%. I do think this is the best it will ever get, and considering the severity of my injury.. I’m ok with it. I am back to my normal life for the most part. I still wakeskate and wakesurf in the summer, but other things just won’t ever be the same. I started running on a treadmill about 4 months after my second surgery and was optimistic that I was building back to normal, but the pain and swelling from the running everyday was too much and I’ve started doing lower impact workouts (Yoga, Spin, certain types of PiYo) so I’ve just accepted this is how I have to work things now. The only thing I can complain about is in the last 3-4 months I’ve had a few arthritis flare ups, and they are pretty awful. I’ve asked my doctor about them and he says that unfortunately we can only deal with them when they happen and that they will be pretty common the rest of my life. I can’t complain and am happy to live as close to normal as I do and only deal with pain sometimes. I hope your recovery is going well!

  5. France

    Hi
    I had a lisfranc surgery 4 week-end ago
    Thé once thing that save me is the knee walker
    Cost 200$ and i can go to the store and « walk » around in the house cooking instead of always watching tv
    Can’t wait to drive but it seems son far away
    Good luck to everyone

  6. Johnni

    Hello, I sustained a Lisfranc injury on 12/18/17. I have 4 fractures. I went to the orthopedic surgeon and he thought surgery wasn’t necessary even though I have 2 dislocations. I’m worried but grateful that no surgery was necessary but wondering if surgery really was needed. Any comments regarding surgery or no surgery? The orthopedic surgeon did say that there would be no weight bearing on my foot for at least 2 months. Wondering if or when people started driving and how long the pain lasts? This is so concerning because I do not like to be in the bed and it’s so uncomfortable. Thank you

    1. Logan Marks

      I can’t really comment on that. I’ve never heard of a fracture/dislocation that didn’t need surgery. Seems odd because I’m not sure how the dislocations would heal properly without hardware to put them back in place while they heal. I’m no doctor though, so hopefully your recovery is going well and everything will be back to normal soon!!

  7. Jennifer Douglas

    Thanks for sharing! I am going on 6 weeks with being on crutches and 4 weeks after surgery had 3 screws put in had typical dislocation along with “horrible ligament tears” according to the surgeon. Was in cast for first 2 weeks then got the boot but still had strick orders for no weight at all. The thing about having the boot is it’s very very tempting to walk on it. I’ve had a slip up but nothing to serious! Thankfully! I started PT for range of motion 2 weeks ago and everything is back within a few degrees which is great news. The sad news is I had my 4 week appointment and he wants me to go ANOTHER 6 weeks without weight. I’m a college student and had a very active schedule now I sit around I’m going stir crazy! But all that aside let’s talk about the pain oh the dreaded pain! I get to sleep without the boot thank goodness but I don’t sleep the pain is terrible, I’ve tried a multitude of different things nothing seems to help. It goes from feeling like my foot is on fire to random shocks of pain, then the needles…it feels like there’s thousands of them! Find when I try to go out and be a “normal” college kid not having my foot up Kills it the next day. Hopefully the pain goes away soon before I lose my mind! I’m sure because I am still young I will make a good comeback just have to have patience lots and lots of patience!

    1. Logan Marks

      Hi Jennifer! I was 25 when I had my fracture/dislocation and as odd as this sounds, be thankful it happened at a young age and not in your late 40’s or 50’s. My surgeon has told me many times that mine was one of the worst ones she has ever seen and I’ve recovered better than almost all of her older patients who has less of an injury than I did. That was my initial scare because all I could find were stories of people who walk with a cane the rest of their life. Just to help get your spirits up a little: I was in my first cast for 2 weeks, and then a smaller cast for 6 weeks. Non weight bearing the whole time. Once I moved to the boot I was allowed to walk with very little weight while still using crutches. This lasted another 2 weeks, and then I moved into a pair of orthopedic shoes for 4 weeks while physical therapy took place. It is as much of a mental game as it is a painful one. It sucks. Sleeping sucks. The nerve pain sucks. But I promise it does start to get a little better, but it feels like an eternity. This past November (17′) was two years since my first surgery and 1 year since my second surgery where they went back in to remove all the screws. This past summer was the best my foot has felt in the years since my injury. I’d say I’ve recovered about 75%. It still hurts when you do things. It still is stiff/sore in the morning. And in the last 3-4 months I’ve had my first arthritis flare ups, which were an awful experience to have at the age of 27. However with all that said, I’m happy that I’ve recovered this far and life is only a little different. I’m sure that when I’m in my 50’s I won’t say that, but for now things are ok. Keep your head up, listen to your surgeon, and don’t worry — you’ll be back to normal before you know it!

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