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
- 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.