Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Ankle FAQ


I was in our state high school rodeo finals last weekend. I injured my ankle big time during the calf roping event. Had to have surgery with two pins through my ankle. Doc says it's an ankle fracture with a syndesmotic injury. Can you explain what that means?


The syndesmosis refers to the ligaments and connective tissue that hold the bottom of the two lower leg bones together. These two bones are the tibia (your shin bone) and the fibula. The fibula is next to the tibia along the outside of the leg.

The syndesmosis is made up of a total of four ligaments and a band of tissue between the two bones. This band is called the interosseous membrane.

The syndesmosis can be sprained or ruptured. There may or may not be a bone fracture at the same time. Severe injuries with bone fracture and/or syndesmotic rupture requires surgery. The goal is to realign the bones and stabilize the joint. The hope is to restore normal movement and function. Charalampos Zalavras, MD, PhD, and David Thordarson, MD. Ankle Syndesmotic Injury. In Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. June 2007. Vol. 15. No. 6. Pp. 330-339.

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