Diastasis of the distal tibiofibular joint is associated with extensive ligamentous rupture and results from external rotation or abduction injuries at the ankle. It may occur without associated fracture but is more frequently seen in cases of Pott's fracture in which there is fracture of the internal malleolus or rupture of the internal lateral ligament together with fracture of the lower third of the fibula. There may also be a fracture of the posterior aspect of the tibia extending into the joint.
Most articles in the literature on fractures of the ankle with rare exceptions1 direct attention to the fractures of the malleoli and posterior tibial margin, leaving the impression that diastasis is of secondary importance. Undoubtedly failure to recognize and treat properly the diastasis may result in permanent disability even when the associated fractures are accurately reduced.
An effort has been made in this presentation to call attention
ALLDREDGE RH. DIASTASIS OF THE DISTAL TIBIOFIBULAR JOINT AND ASSOCIATED LESIONS. JAMA. 1940;115(25):2136–2140. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810510012004
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