Purpose: To help identify tibiofibular syndesmotic injuries.
Test position: Supine.
Performing the Test: The examiner grasps the patient's leg midway up the calf and performs a compress and release motion. A positive test is considered if the patient experiences pain in the area of the syndesmosis.
Diagnostic Accuracy: Kappa .75.
Importance of the Test: The term "high ankle sprain" refers to an isolated injury to the tibiofibular syndesmosis. Syndesmotic sprains occur in about 10-20% of all ankle sprains. The most common mechanism of injury includes excessive dorsiflexion and external rotation of the foot often while skiing, playing football, soccer, or other sports played on turf. The stability of the syndesmosis in dependent on the surrounding bones and ligaments, in particular the anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament (AITFL), the posterior inferior tibiofibular ligament (PITFL), interroseous ligament, and the inferior transverse ligament. Applying on compression force in this region following injury will often elicit a painful response.
Note: these tests should only be performed by a properly trained health care practitioner.
Reference: Flynn , Timothy. Users' Guide to Musculoskeletal Examination. USA: Evidence in Motion, 2008. Print. Cesar, Paulo. "Comparison of Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Physical Examination for Syndesmotic Injury After Lateral Ankle Sprain ." American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. 32.2 (2011): n. page. Web. 23 Sep. 2012.