Proximal Tibiofibular Joint Dislocation: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment- Cold Therapy, Surgery

The reason for a Proximal Tibiofibular Joint Dislocation is often a severe force or a direct impact like when an athlete falls with the knee fully flexed.

Proximal Tibiofibular Joint Dislocation


About Proximal Tibiofibular Joint Dislocation

Tibio-fibular joint joins the fibula and the tibia. It is quite a stationary structure. It is divided into two regions, the proximal joint which is located below the knee and the distal joint which is present above the joint of the ankle. They are responsible for restricting motion between the fibula and the tibia, especially during the twisting motions of leg. It is made up of a strong ligamentous band passing obliquely between the tibial and fibular bones.[1]

Symptoms of Proximal Tibiofibular Joint Dislocation

  • Pain and swelling in the external area of the shin.
  • The head of the fibula may become more obvious just below the external surface of the knee.
  • Increase of pain with motion of the ankle.
  • Inability to fully weight bear.[2]

Causes of Proximal Tibiofibular Joint Dislocation

As stated above, the cause of proximal tibio-fibular joint dislocation is often a severe force or impact like when an athlete falls with the knee fully flexed with the foot aiming inwards and downwards resulting in increased straining of the muscles which join the fibula to the foot. This posture results in the fibula pulling forwards and in case of extreme force causes dislocation of the joint. This injury needs immediate treatment, as in cases it may result in a peroneal nerve injury. The difference between a tibio-fibular joint dislocation and dislocation of the knee joint is that in knee joint dislocation there is separation of the femur and the tibia known as the tibiofemoral joint.[3]

Treatment for Proximal Tibiofibular Joint Dislocation

  • Ice or cold therapy is useful.
  • Avoidance of movements which aggravate the condition and increase pain.
  • Patient should seek immediate attention through a sports injury physician.
  • NSAIDs have been shown to provide pain relief.
  • Surgery is usually needed in cases where dislocation is caused by trauma. The aim of the surgery is to join the bones back together by using screws or a K-wire so as to prevent the bones from moving.[4]
  • The leg is put in a cast to prevent it from moving for up to six weeks post surgery.
  • In order to aid in complete recovery, a rehab exercise program needs to be followed religiously after the patient has healed from surgery.