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Independent Attachment of Lateral Ankle Ligaments: Anterior Talofibular and Calcaneofibular Ligaments - A Cadaveric Study

      ABSTRACT

      Anatomic knowledge of lateral ligaments around the lateral malleolus is important for repair or reconstruction of ankle instability. The detailed structure of the connective fibers between the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) and the calcaneofibular ligament (CFL) is unknown. To clarify the anatomic structure of ATFL and CFL and the connective fiber between the 2 ligaments, the lateral ligament was dissected in 60 ankles of formalin-fixed cadavers, and the distance was measured between bony landmarks and fibular attachment of ATFL and CFL using a digital caliper. All ankles had connective fibers between ATFL and CFL. The structure of connective fibers consisted of a thin fiber above the surface layer of ATFL and CFL; it comprised thin fibrils of the surface layer covering the lower part of ATFL and the front part of CFL. Both ATFL and CFL were independent fibers, and both attachments of the fibula were isolated. Single bands of ATFL were noted in 14 of 60 (23.3%) ankles, double bands that divided the superior and inferior bands were observed in 42 of 60 (70.0%) ankles, and multiple bands were observed in 4 of 60 (6.7%) ankles. A cord-like and a flat and fanning type of CFL was noted in 22 (36.7%) and 38 (63.3%) of the 60 ankles, respectively. Distances between ATFL/CFL and articular and inferior tips of the fibula were 4.3 ± 1.1 mm/7.6 ± 1.6 mm and 14.3 ± 1.9 mm/7.4 ± 1.7 mm, respectively (mean ± standard deviation). The results of this study suggest that knowledge of more anatomic structures of ATFL, CFL, and connective fiber will be beneficial for surgeons in the repair or reconstruction of the lateral ligament of the ankle.

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