Darren McFadden and a Mid-Foot Sprain

The Oakland Raiders are missing one of their key players after RB Darren McFadden injured his right foot during the October 23, 2011 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. While many reports have said it is an ankle injury, what he actually suffered was what is called a mid-foot sprain and unfortunately the Raiders could find themselves without their start RB for some time.

Raiders coach Hue Jackson was quoted as saying, "That mid-foot sprain is really something. You have to get back to walking first before you can do anything, so my main thing is to get him out of that walking boot first."

So, what exactly is a mid-foot sprain and how long could the Raiders be without McFadden?

Mid-Foot Sprain

The mid foot is made up of ligaments that attach the five long metatarsal bones to four smaller bones known as the cuneiform bones and the cuboid. These joints make up your mid-foot. The most common ligament that is injured in a mid-foot sprain is the Lisfranc's ligament that runs along the inside of your foot. When this ligament gets torn or sprained, it increases the risk of fractures or dislocations of the bones. This type of injury usually occurs when a large amount of force is placed on the center of your foot or a person twists their lower body while their foot remains planted in place.


Treatment for a mid-foot sprain includes the use of a walking boot or cast to immobilize the foot just like the one that McFadden is currently wearing. You will be instructed to keep weight off of your foot and should use crutches for moving. This walking boot and weight bearing restrictions can take as long as six to eight weeks.

Once your physician has determined that the foot is healing correctly, you may be allowed to remove the walking book and begin walking on the foot as pain allows. However, full weight bearing and normal walking can take as long as 12 weeks. According to the Insall Scott Kelly Institute, it can take as long as a full year before a person can return to competitive sports after receiving this injury.

Depending on the severity of McFadden's sprain, he could be out for most of the season. For Raider's fans, I hope his injury is only minimal and he can be back in the game soon.

Deborah Braconnier is a former athlete and 20 year medical professional. Working now as a freelance writer, she brings her love for both sports and the medical field together in her writing.

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Updated Friday, Nov 11, 2011