Tibiotalar contact and fibular malunion in ankle fractures a cadaver study

Mark J. Curtis, James D. Michelson, Marc W. Urquhart, Ronald P. Byank, Riyaz H. Jinnah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Six cadaveric ankles were dissected, preserving medial and lateral ligaments; an axial load of 455N was applied to the tibia supported by the foot and ankle. the unconstrained tibia was moved through 20° of flexion and extension to simulate walking. the tibiotalar contact area was defined using carbon black suspension, recorded photographically, and measured using computerized area analysis. Osteotomy of the distal fibula was performed and fixed with a specially modified plate; a selection of plates provided fixation with 0° or 30° of external rotation in combination with 0 or 2 mm of shortening. the contact area was measured for each of the plates and after division of the deltoid ligament. There were greater than 30 percent decreases in tibiotalar contact with both fibular shortening and external rotation, doubled with a divided deltoid ligament. Anatomic restoration of both fibular length and rotation is essential for normal ankle mechanics. the deltoid ligament has crucial effects on the stability of the ankle mortise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-329
Number of pages4
JournalActa Orthopaedica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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