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Anatomy of the tibiofibular joints


Anatomy of the Tibiofibular Joints

Figure 1. Overview of Tibiofibular Joints, Posterior Leg

Figure 2. Superior Tibiofibular Joint, close up of posterior view of leg.

Figure 3. Tibiofibular Syndesmosis. A. Lateral View of Ankle B. Posterior View of Ankle B. Cross-section of Ankle


Now, everyone knows about the famous hip joint and knee joint, but not many people like to talk about the lesser known tibiofibular joints.

The tibiofibular joints are two joints of the leg, one superior and one inferior.

This doesn't mean one is better than the other, just that one is lower down!

Right below the knee joint, there are the leg bones, namely the tibia and fibula, which are connected by a superior tibiofibular joint, and an inferior tibiofibular joint, which is a component of the distal tibiofibular syndesmosis, as it is the distal end of the syndesmotic - or fibrous - connection between the tibia and fibula.

These joints have minimal function in terms of movement but play a greater role in stability and weight-bearing.

The superior tibiofibular joint is a plane type of synovial joint, which allows the involved bones to glide over one another to create movement.

This joint is located between the flat articular facet on the fibular head and a similar articular facet situated posterolaterally on the lateral tibial condyle.

As expected, the superior tibiofibular joint is also surrounded by a joint capsule, which attaches to the margins of the articular surfaces of the fibula and tibia.

This joint allows slight gliding movement during dorsiflexion of the foot. The tibiofibular syndesmosis, on the other hand, is a compound fibrous joint.

Basically, it represents the fibrous union of the tibia and fibula by means of the interosseous membrane, which unites the shaft of the bones, and the inferior tibiofibular joint, which unites the distal ends of the bones.