Author(s): Akseki D, Pinar H, Yaldiz K, Akseki NG, Arman C, Akseki D, Pinar H, Yaldiz K, Akseki NG, Arman C
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Abstract Impingement by the distal fascicle of the anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament (AITFL) is a relatively new entity among the known causes of anterolateral impingement syndromes of the ankle. This study investigated the anatomy of the anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament and its possible role in talar impingement in 47 ankles of 27 cadavers. The length, width, insertion point to the fibula and the interactions with talus were noted, as was the relationship of the fascicle and talus during different ankle movements before and after incision of the lateral ligaments. A distal fascicle of the AITFL was found in 39 of the 47 ankles (83\%) and appeared as a single-complete ligament in the remaining 8 ankles (17\%). The fascicle averaged 16.1+/-2.94 mm in length (range 10-21) and 4.2+/-1.00 mm in width (range, 3-7). The insertion point of the fascicle on the fibula averaged 10.3+/-2.27 mm (5-13) distal to the joint level. Contact between the ligament and the lateral dome of the talus was observed in 42 specimens (89.3\%). Bending of the fascicle was observed in 8 of these 42 ankles with forced dorsiflexion. These 8 specimens were significantly wider and longer than the specimens without bending of the fascicle. Incision of the anterior talofibular ligament led to bending in dorsiflexion in additional 11 ankles. The total 19 fascicles with bending after incision of the anterior talofibular ligament were significantly longer and inserted more distally than the remaining 20 fascisles without bending. Manual traction simulating distraction during arthroscopic procedures relieved the contact. These findings show that the presence of the distal fascicle of the AITFL and its contact with the talus is a normal finding. However, it may become pathological due to anatomical variations and/or instability of the ankle resulting from torn lateral ligaments. When observed during an ankle arthroscopy, the surgeon should look for the criteria described in the present study to decide whether it is pathological and needs to be resected.
This article was published in Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc
and referenced in Clinical Research on Foot & Ankle