Often times I will see a patient who has midfoot pain that just won’t go away. They typically have had some sort of mnidfoot injury. Maybe a car wreck, mountain bike crash, or even stepped in a pot hole while running. Or maybey they just dropped something heavy right on top of the foot.
In most cases, they had some bruising following the injury and still have a little swelling in the foot. Many have been seen in the Emergency Room several days to weeks earlier. They had x-rays of the foot and were told they had a “midfoot sprain” and that nothing was broken.
However, it seems that about 99% of the time this kind of patient comes into the office with a “midfoot sprain” it is actually a midfoot fracture that has been missed. This is very common. In fact, one study (for which Dr. Segler won an award from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons) showed that 98.6% of the x-ray findings suggested of these injuries were missed by board certified Emergency Room Physicians.
Although most patients will think they have a midfoot sprain or metatarsal stress fracture, it is sometimes an injury with a torn ligament called a Lisfranc’s Fracture. This injury is much more serious and will usually get worse (and will not heal correctly) without surgery.
A true midfoot sprain is very rare.
If you have had an injury to the midfoot (particularly with any bruising, swelling or persistent pain) you must see a foot fracture specialist. Try to find one in your area who has experience with midoot fracture diagnosis. They can be very difficult to diagnose on x-ray simply because there is som much overlap of the bones in the foot on x-ray.
As long as the problem is correctly diagnosed and treated, you should still be able to return to activities like running, hiking, skiing and cycling without any difficulty.