The two bones in the lower leg are the tibia and the fibula. The point just above the ankle where these two bones meet is called the syndesmosis. While technically a joint, it does not function like most joints as there is very little motion between the two bones. Its main functions are to provide stability to the ankle joint and allow for motion of the joint.
The most common way the syndesmosis is hurt is from a twisting or rotational injury to the ankle. The ligaments that support the syndesmosis are needed to stabilize it, and it is these ligaments that are stretched or torn when this type of injury occurs. Ankle sprains can injure the syndesmosis. The ligaments also can be injured when the ankle is broken. High ankle sprains that are commonly seen in football players are injuries to the syndesmosis.
Surgery of the syndesmosis most often is needed after a traumatic disruption. The goal of surgery is to properly align and stabilize the joint so the ligaments can heal in the correct position.