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Ryan Clady and the Bare Bones of the Lisfranc Injury


Ryan Clady (78) lines up during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Sports Authority Field. The Lions defeated the Broncos 45-10. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Liz Frank? No, Lisfranc!

First off, don’t always believe the headlines you read.

While Broncos’ tackle Ryan Clady is going to miss some time, even John Fox didn’t know the extent of Clady’s foot injury.

“I’m not into fortune telling or tea leaves or any of that good stuff,” John Fox said on Monday. “Right now, it’s exactly what I said: it’s a left foot sprain. When we know something, we’ll let all the fortune tellers know.”

Clady is rumored to have a Lisfranc injury. While Broncos Country was typing “Lisfranc” into Google on Monday, I reached out to Dr. David Geier, one of the country’s top orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine experts in the country.

Basically, according to Dr. Geier, a Lisfranc injury is an injury to the ligament that stabilizes the mid-foot.

“The injury can vary in severity from a sprain of that ligament to a partial tear to a complete tear of that ligament and the supporting ligaments,” Dr. Geier said. “X-rays of the foot can show any displacement of the bones in this area. If X-rays show the bone is well aligned, the MRI might only show a sprain of the ligament.”

Dr. Geier said that the mild Lisfranc injury can be treated with a cast or walking boot until the ligament heals. However, if there’s displacement, surgery is often needed to align the bones and hold them in place with screws until that ligament heals.

"“Even for mild Lisfranc sprains, return to sports can take 3-4 weeks but frequently requires 6-8 weeks to return to the same ability to cut and push off on that foot,” Dr. Geier said. “If surgery is needed, the athlete almost always misses the rest of the season.”"

There you have it. The bare bones of the Lisfranc injury. We’ll find out in the coming days the extent of Clady’s injury. Fingers are crossed for no displacement of bones, or Lisfranc injury for that matter, but if the normally durable Clady has to miss the rest of the season, the Broncos have a solid backup in Chris Clark.

Clady is just the fourth offensive lineman in NFL history to start every game (82) and make three Pro Bowls during his first five seasons.

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