Research Article| Volume 58, ISSUE 4, P734-738, July 2019

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Computed Tomography Analysis for Quantification of Displacement of the Distal Fibula in Different Foot Positions With Weightbearing and Sequentially Increased Instability: An Anatomic Cadaveric Study on Syndesmosis


      Syndesmotic injuries are quite common, but accurate diagnosis and treatment can be difficult, in part because of individual anatomic variation and complex movements of the fibula in the incisura. The current cadaveric study was designed to investigate changes in the position of the fibula in the incisura during simulated weightbearing in different foot positions and with sequential sectioning of syndesmotic and deltoid ligaments. Sixteen paired, fresh-frozen cadaveric limbs were embedded in polymethylmethacrylate mid-calf and placed in a weightbearing simulation frame. Computed tomography scans were obtained while the legs were in a simulated foot-flat position (75 N) and single-leg stance (700 N) in 5 foot positions: neutral, 15° external rotation, 15° internal rotation, 20° dorsiflexion, and 20° plantar flexion. The anterior-inferior tibiofibular ligament, posterior tibiofibular ligament complex, deltoid, and interosseous membranes were sectioned sequentially and rescanned. Measurements of fibular diastasis, rotation, anterior-posterior and medial-lateral translation, and fibular shortening were performed. The most destructive state resulted in the largest displacement at the syndesmosis. The degree of subluxation in all ligament states was dependent on the foot position. External rotation created statistically significant displacement at all levels of injury. There were no significant differences between sides of the same donor. Our data demonstrate the importance of foot position in reduction at the syndesmosis under weightbearing. The current ex vivo model could be used to evaluate other aspects of this injury or the value of reconstructive techniques in the future.

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