PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A Lisfranc injury or fracture is named after the French doctor who first described it in the 1800’s. These days, Lisfranc is more common among athletes who are up on their toes like soccer players, gymnasts, and dancers. Orthopedic specialists are working to keep athletes in the game.

Sixteen-year-old Lindsey Buczkowski is at home on the soccer field. She’s played since she could walk and she’s had her share of bumps and bruises. But during a big game last October, Lindsey crashed into two of her opponents; one of them stepped on her lower leg.

“So my foot stayed in place but my big toe was going in the direction with the rest of my body, and it tore the ligaments in the middle of my foot.” Lindsey shared.

Diana Buczkowski, Lindsey’s mom, said “by the time we got over to the side our athletic trainer came over to us and said ‘I think it’s pretty bad.”

Lindsey’s foot swelled. Orthopedic specialists diagnosed a Lisfranc injury.

MaCalus Hogan, MD, an Orthopedic Specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said, “Anyone who is doing a lot of high impact running and jumping, there is a risk there.”

Doctor MaCalus Hogan inserted a metal plate and five screws to support Lindsey’s foot while the ligaments healed. In many cases, the hardware stays in the foot, ending an athlete’s career.

“It had been her life,” Diana told Ivanhoe.

In some cases, specialists are now opting to remove the plates and screws. Lindsey jumped at the chance to play again.

“She was young, athletic, very strong, the chances of her returning were higher,” Doctor Hogan said.

Five months after her injury, doctors removed the hardware. Lindsey swam, exercised and trained at least two hours a day for another five months to strengthen her damaged foot. In August, she was cleared to play with no restrictions.

“She’s doing great. I hear more about how well she’s doing than I even see her, so that’s a positive,” Doctor Hogan continued.

“It’s exciting though. I’m thrilled to be watching her again,” Diana shared.

Doctors say Lisfranc injuries are often misdiagnosed. Bruising on the bottom of the foot is usually one sign that this injury has occurred. Even with proper treatment or surgery, doctors say patients may be prone to arthritis in the foot as they age.