Adrian Peterson’s Foot Debacle

Football is the most popular sport in the United States, and also the source of many injuries. Adrian Peterson, the running back for the Vikings, recently suffered a midfoot sprain forcing him to sit out during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The second string running back suffered a hamstring injury, so he was also unable to play leaving the job to the third string running back. Despite the set back, the Vikings still won the game. Midfoot sprains are rare, except in people that participate in sports because the sprain is caused by pivoting or twisting the body while the foot stays in place.

The midfoot consists of a group of bones between the ankle and toes that form an arch on the foot. The bones in the midfoot are held together by ligaments, and in a midfoot sprain these ligaments are torn or stretched. Lisfranc fractures are often misdiagnosed as midfoot sprains, and are more serious. A Lisfranc fracture is a fracture dislocation in the midfoot that is easily missed on X-ray. As many as thirty percent of Lisfranc injuries are missed at initial diagnosis, and most missed diagnoses are by providers that are not foot and ankle specialists. The signs of a midfoot sprain include pain, swelling, and bruising in the midfoot. Midfoot sprain can be treated more conservatively than a Lisfranc fracture, and generally only require rest, ice compression and elevation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen are often sufficient to treat the pain and reduce inflammation in a midfoot sprain. Athletes may immobilize the foot in a cast or boot, with weight bearing as tolerated, and will start extensive rehab to ensure full function after the injury and also speed healing. Complications after midfoot sprains are rare, especially in minor sprains, but there is a risk of developing arthritis, a fallen arch, or instability of the midfoot. Surgical treatment is usually only utilized in more serious Lisfranc fractures.

Adrian Peterson’s X-ray, MRI, and CT scan ruled our Lisfranc fracture, which means that with conservative treatment his foot should heal, and on average return to activity would be within three weeks depending on the severity. Vikings coach, Leslie Frazier stated that he believes Peterson will be able to return for the game against the Bengals.

Please visit for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

Columbus Podiatry & Surgery has opened a new location in Gahanna, near Easton. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia