UPDATE: Raiders coach Hue Jackson insisted at Monday's press conference that the foot injury to running back Darren McFadden will not require surgery.
The Raiders have termed Darren McFadden's injury a "foot sprain." NFL analyst Phil Simms said Sunday it's a "Lisfranc injury." For those of us without the expertise of an orthopedic surgeon, what does it mean in layman's terms?
Whether you believe Simms or are merely acknowledging that McFadden has missed six straight games, it's not a good situation.
According to Raiders coach Hue Jackson on Monday, McFadden -- who was off to the best start of his career with a 5.4-yard average before he was hobbled -- will not require surgery.
RELATED: Jackson disputes Simms' Sunday report
Ive been told that he has a midfoot sprain, which is just like a Lisfranc sprain, however you see that. Its the same. Its really one and the same. And I know one can require -- both can require surgery. Both can require you to be out several, several weeks. So I think theyre all in that same family. I just think how you describe it, based on one when you say Lisfranc, really means surgical," Jackson said.
"You got to go in and fix it right away in order to get it to heal properly. I think thats why when people hear that term I think everybody goes, Oh my gosh, thats what he has. No, he does not need surgery. That much I do know. You guys can write that. Darren McFadden does not need surgery.
Bottom line: If it is a Lisfranc injury, McFadden's injury could be season-ending despite Jackson's assurances to the contrary. At worst case, it could impact his career.
For reference, look no further than Texans QB Matt Schaub, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve and is scheduled for surgery following a Lisfranc injury in mid-November.
Similarly, Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney was sidelined for the rest of the 2007 season with a Lisfranc injury following Week 9. Same for former Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown, who sustained the same injury in 2009. Freeney has returned as a Pro Bowler; Brown has been consigned to backup status.
Then there's the case of Browns running back Errict Rhett. He suffered a Lisfranc injury in October 2000 and never played in another regular-season game.
Regardless of the severity, it's a good thing McFadden is a football player and not a member of the French calvary under Napoleon.
The Lisfranc injury dates to the days of the French general, and is named after field surgeon Jacques Lisfranc de St. Martin who specialized in amputation of the front part of the foot -- to prevent gangrene and get Napoleon's soldiers back into combat.
When soldiers fell from their horses, their feet would often get caught in the stirrups, resulting in a fracture of the mid-foot, where the long bones (metatarsal) are displaced from the smaller bones at the front of the foot (tarsus).
In football players, the injury is caused by a similar type of twisting-under-force move.
Treatment options do not always require an operation.
If it merely an injury to the ligament that holds the bones in place, immobilization in a walking boot is the most typical option. If the dislocation is slight, the injury can be treated by casting, with no weight allowed on the foot.
If an operation is needed, screws are used for internal fixation of the fracture. This could result in keeping the individual completely off the foot for 6-to-12 weeks.