Syndesmotic injuries associated with ankle fractures are commonly treated with reduction and fixation using a transfixing screw. On rare occasions, however, progression to chronic instability of the syndesmosis is observed. Several surgical techniques have been applied in such cases but usually without a report on the results. We report a case of chronic syndesmotic instability and ankle joint osteoarthritis after ankle fracture-dislocation in a 21-year-old male patient who underwent distal tibiofibular arthrodesis. During the relatively long 4-year, 1-month follow-up period, the pain and activity improved from the patient's preoperative condition. Radiographs demonstrated cessation of arthritic changes in the ankle that had initially displayed joint space narrowing. Our findings suggest distal tibiofibular arthrodesis as an option to consider for the treatment of young and active patients with arthritic changes in the ankle joint with concomitant chronic instability of the syndesmosis.
Level of Clinical Evidence: 4