Tibiofibular Joint – Anatomy, Purpose, And Injury Prevention
The tibiofibular joint is a part of the body that you do not think much about until it is hurting. In this article, we will be discussing all the details you need to know about this particular joint, the anatomy, the various functions the joint performs in the body and how to prevent injury to your tibiofibular joint.
A joint is a point in the body where two or more bones meet. Joints are essential because they enable you to perform movements like twisting, turning or bending. When suffering from joint issues, it becomes difficult to excel in sports.
Anatomy Of The Tibiofibular Joint
The tibiofibular joints are points in the leg where the tibia (the inner of the two bones in the lower leg) and the fibular (the outer of the two bones in the lower leg) become attached to one another.
The joint is divided into three distinctive parts namely:
- The superior
- The middle
- The inferior
The details concerning each of the three divisions.
- The superior tibiofibular joint: This joint is a synovial joint (a joint that is articulated in a way that it is able to move freely). The superior tibiofibular joint is formed by the upper aspects of the tibia and fibular bone. This joint is strengthened by ligaments such as the anterior and posterior proximal tibiofibular ligaments. The joint receives both nerve and blood supply to enable it to function effectively
- The middle tibiofibular joint: The middle tibiofibular joint is a fibrous joint formed by the interosseous membrane. The interosseous membrane is made up of fibers that join the end of the tibia bone to the end of the fibular bone
- The inferior tibiofibular joint: This is also a type of fibrous joint that joins the tibia bone to the fibular bone near the ankle joint. The inferior tibiofibular joint also receives nerve and blood supply to enable it to function
Functions of Tibiofibular Joint
Detailed below are the various functions the joint serves:
- The strength of the ligaments around the inferior tibiofibular joint help to maintain the integrity of the ankle.
- The superior tibiofibular joint reduces rotational stress during the movement of the leg.
- The interosseous membrane of the middle tibiofibular joint helps to keep the fibular bone in position during movement of the leg.
Signs And Symptoms Of Injury
An injury to any of the tibiofibular joints described above will show some of the following sign and symptoms:
- A pain in your outer side of the knee
- Pain that gets worse when you carry weight or when you indulge in exercises like running
- Weakness in the leg
- Reduction in the range of movement that can be performed by the leg
Treatment of Tibiofibular Joint Injury
- Medical History and Physical Examination: In the medical history, the Doctor will ask you some questions regarding the pain you have been feeling and will proceed to examine you afterward.
- Investigation: The Doctor may request for an X-ray, MRI or CT scan to confirm his diagnosis.
- Treatment: The Doctor will place you on drugs to relieve the pain you might be feeling. Depending on the severity of the injury, the Doctor might refer you to a Physical Therapist for rehabilitation or a Surgeon for definitive treatment.
- Seeing a sports medicine professional
Injury Prevention For Injury
- Strengthen entire lower leg
- Relieve tension in IT band and TFL
- Stretch hamstring regularly
- Avoid carrying excessive weight
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