Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of primary arthrodesis versus open reduction and internal fixation in patients with Lisfranc fracture instability (The BFF Study) study protocol for a multicenter randomized controlled trial

N.A.C. van den Boom*, G.A.N.L. Stollenwerck, S.M.A.A. Evers, M. Poeze

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background The Lisfranc injury is a complex injury of the midfoot. It can result in persistent pain and functional impairment if treated inappropriately. In Lisfranc fracture dislocation, treatment options are primary arthrodesis of the midfoot joints or open reduction and internal fixation. The purpose of the proposed study is to define the optimal treatment for the Lisfranc fracture dislocation, either primary arthrodesis or open reduction and internal fixation, in regard to quality of life, complications, functional outcomes, and cost effectiveness. Methods Study design: A prospective multicenter RCT. Study population: All patients of 18 years and older with an acute (< 6 weeks) traumatic fracture dislocation in the Lisfranc midfoot joints, displaced on static radiographic evaluation or unstable with dynamic evaluation, weight bearing radiographs or fluoroscopic stress testing under anesthesia, and eligible for either one of the surgical procedures. In total, this study will include n = 112 patients with Lisfranc fracture dislocation. Interventions: Patients with Lisfranc fracture dislocation will be randomly allocated to treatment in "The Better to Fix or Fuse Study" (The BFF Study) with either PA or ORIF. Main study parameters/endpoints: Primary outcome parameter: the quality of life. Secondary outcomes: complications, functional outcomes, secondary surgical interventions and cost effectiveness. Nature and extent of the burden: PA is expected to have a better outcome, however both treatments are accepted for this injury with a similar low risk of complications. Follow up is standardized and therefore this study will not add extra burden to the patient. Discussion This study protocol provides a comprehensive overview of the aims and methods of the attached clinical study. Limitations of this study are the absence of patient blinding since it is impossible in surgical intervention, and the outcome measure (AOFAS) that has limited validity not for these injuries. This study will be the first with enough power to define optimal treatment for Lisfranc fracture dislocations. This is necessary since current literature is unclear on this topic. Trial registration Current controlled Trial: NCT04519242 with registration date: 08/13/2020. Retrospectively registered; Protocol date and version: Version 4 05/06/2020

Original languageEnglish
Article number323
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2021


  • Traumatic Lisfranc fracture dislocation
  • ORIF
  • PA
  • Quality of life
  • Cost effectiveness

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