Injuries to the distal tibiofibular syndesmosis are frequent in collision sports. Most of these injuries are not associated with latent or frank diastasis between the distal tibia and fibula and are treated as high ankle sprains, with an extended protocol of physical therapy. Relevant instability of the syndesmosis results from rupture of two or more ligaments leading to a diastasis of more than 2 mm and requiring surgical fixation. Most of these syndesmosis ruptures are associated with bony avulsions or malleolar fractures. Treatment consists of anatomic reduction of the fibula and fixation with one or two tibiofibular syndesmosis screws. Proper reduction and positioning of the screws are more predictive of a good clinical result than the material, size, and number of cortices purchased. Chronic injuries without instability are treated by arthroscopic or open debridement and arthrolysis. Chronic syndesmotic instability can be treated with a three-strand peroneus longus ligamentoplasty in the absence of symptomatic arthritis or bony defects.





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