In 11 healthy volunteers, the normal kinematics of the tibiofibular syndesmosis of the ankle during weight bearing and external rotation stress were compared to a nonweight-bearing neutral position by radiostereometry. We found very small rotations and displacements in this "normal" group, which indicated that the fibula is closely attached to the tibia, thereby preventing larger movements at the level of the ankle. We found no common kinematic pattern during weight bearing in the neutral position.
Application of a 7.5 Nm external rotation moment on the foot caused external rotation of the fibula between 2 and 5 degrees, medial translation between 0 and 2.5 mm and posterior displacement between 1.0 and 3.1 mm. These data can be used as normal reference values for studies of patients with suspected syndesmotic injuries.