Distal tibiofibular joint injury

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Distal tibiofibular joint injury occurs if the connective tissue is under excess strain where it can tear. The injury can range from a minimal tear or full tearing that results to evident pain and disability.

The injury is generally due to trauma such as a severe ankle sprain in which the tibia and fibula are driven apart.

What are the indications?

An individual with distal tibiofibular joint injury usually experiences the following:

  • Abrupt onset of pain during the activity responsible for the injury.
  • Increased discomfort during weight bearing activity and if the ankle is rotated or twisted.
  • Inability to bear weight at the time of injury due to the pain
    Distal tibiofibular joint injury
    Abrupt onset of pain during the activity responsible for the injury.
  • Stiffness and bruising a few days after the injury
  • Discomfort can be felt in front of the ankle but also in the back or sides
  • Aching sensation can be felt if the distal tibiofibular joint is firmly touched

Management of a distal tibiofibular joint injury

In most cases where there is minor to moderate damage, it heals properly with the help of physiotherapy.

A vital component of treatment is to allow the body to naturally heal by avoiding activities that further aggravate the affected tissue.

Some of the treatment options include:

  • The individual must get enough rest from the activity that worsens the pain
  • Treatment must be started during the initial 48-72 hours to lessen the swelling, bleeding and inflammation with the RICE method.
  • Perform strengthening, flexibility and balance exercises early in the rehabilitation phase to lower the risk for weakness, stiffness and instability.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a distal tibiofibular joint injury is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs and how it is managed, register for a first aid and CPR course with Victoria First Aid.

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