The anterolateral ligament

The anterolateral ligament

Anatomy, length changes and association with the Segond fracture

  1. C. Halewood, MEng, MBiolEng, Research Assistant1;
  2. A. Williams, MBBS,FRCS(Orth), FFSEM, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Visiting Professor3; and
+ Author Affiliations
  1. 1Imperial College London, Biomechanics Group, Mechanical Engineering Department, London SW7 2AZ, UK.
  2. 2Imperial College London School of Medicine, Orthopaedic Surgery Department, Charing Cross Hospital, London W6 8RF, UK.
  3. 3Imperial College London School of Medicine, Orthopaedic Surgery Department, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London SW10 9NH, UK.
  1. Correspondence should be sent to Professor A. A. Amis;


There have been differing descriptions of the anterolateral structures of the knee, and not all have been named or described clearly. The aim of this study was to provide a clear anatomical interpretation of these structures. We dissected 40 fresh-frozen cadaveric knees to view the relevant anatomy and identified a consistent structure in 33 knees (83%); we termed this the anterolateral ligament of the knee. This structure passes antero-distally from an attachment proximal and posterior to the lateral femoral epicondyle to the margin of the lateral tibial plateau, approximately midway between Gerdy’s tubercle and the head of the fibula. The ligament is superficial to the lateral (fibular) collateral ligament proximally, from which it is distinct, and separate from the capsule of the knee. In the eight knees in which it was measured, we observed that the ligament was isometric from 0° to 60° of flexion of the knee, then slackened when the knee flexed further to 90° and was lengthened by imposing tibial internal rotation.
Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:325–31.


  • A. L. Dodds was supported by an Educational Fellowship grant from Smith & Nephew (Endoscopy) Company. The authors would also like to thank Dr V. Duthon for anatomical work.
    No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.
    This article was primary edited by D. Rowley and first proof edited by J. Scott.
  • Received August 15, 2013.
  • Accepted November 7, 2013.
  • ©2014 The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery

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