The Raiders’ Darren McFadden Has a Lisfranc Fracture: A Look at the Injury in the NFL

The Oakland Raiders' running back, Darren McFadden, has been off the field and out of the game since leaving early in week seven in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. This means that he has now missed half of the 2011 season.

Darren McFadden
Wikimedia Commons

Initially we were told McFadden's injury was a mid-foot sprain, and that the injury was a minor one. He was expected to return after the team's bye week in their next game against the Denver Broncos. Since then, each week, he's been listed as out, and has only been seen sporadically at practice. Time goes by, and we're all told, soon, or he's getting closer.

Now, shortly after week 14, the news was released that McFadden has a Lisfranc fracture. Head coach Hue Jackson said it was "basically the same" as a mid-foot sprain, but unfortunately, it is not.

A Lisfranc injury is a rare injury to a joint in the center region of the foot. So that part is correct. It is a mid-foot injury; however, it is more severe in that it is a fracture of the midfoot bones and/or disruption of the midfoot ligaments, and takes longer to recover.

This injury is highly debilitating for an athlete who depends on their lower extremities for so much of their athletic performance, and can take the player out for the entire season and even end careers.

Last month, Houston Texans' quarterback, Matt Schaub was diagnosed with the injury and it's taken him out for the entire remainder of the season. It can take months, rather than weeks, to recover from a Lisfranc injury and it can sometimes require surgery. Although it doesn't sound like the Raiders' McFadden will have to face surgery at this point.

For a running back, and an especially speedy one like McFadden, for whom flexibility of the entire foot is of paramount importance, this is not something you want to have happen. Some players are never able to return to their previous level of play, as what happened to the great running back of the Philadelphia Eagles, Duce Staley.

For McFadden and the Raiders' sake, let's hope his injury is not as severe. The team is bound to have some better luck come their way eventually, and especially for Darren, now would be a good time.

K.C. Dermody has been an avid runner, hiker, and yoga enthusiast for twenty years, and as a trained yoga instructor she taught a variety of students from senior citizens to competitive athletes. She enjoys combining her passion for sports, emotional and physical well-being with her love of writing, and has been an Oakland Raiders' fan her entire life.

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Updated Monday, Dec 12, 2011