The superiority of primary arthrodesis (PA) versus open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) in Lisfranc injuries has been debated. Meta-analyses comparing these surgical options have reached contradicting conclusions. The goal of this article is to determine why different conclusions were reached and provide clarity on the comparable outcomes of PA and ORIF in Lisfranc injuries.

A systematic literature review was conducted by searching for "meta-analysis" AND "Lisfranc" with keywords such as "ORIF" OR "open reduction" OR "arthrodesis" OR "fusion." Five meta-analysis articles discussing PA and ORIF in Lisfranc injuries were identified. Study outcomes were extracted from each article, and contradicting conclusions were identified for analysis.

PA had lower rates of hardware removal. There was no difference between PA and ORIF when considering revision surgery, anatomic reduction, postoperative infection, total complications, and patient satisfaction. However, contradicting conclusions were reached for return to duty, the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score, and visual analogue scale (VAS) score. Conclusions. There was no difference in PA and ORIF for return to work and VAS score. Repeat meta-analysis with truly equivocal outcomes would be necessary to reach a valid conclusion for return to full activity and AOFAS midfoot scores.

Level II: Therapeutic studies.