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Duke Orthopaedics
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Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics

Anterior Talofibular Ligament   



- See:
      - Anterior Drawer Test

- Anatomy:
     - it connects anterior fibula to neck of talus;
     - ligament is thickening of ankle capsule that extends short distance from anterior edge of distal part of fibula to talar neck, anterior to its lateral articular facet;
     - ligament is 20 mm long, 10 mm wide, and 2 mm thick;
     - w/ the foot plantigrade, its fibers are oriented 75 deg to the floor;
     - w/ plantar flexion, its fibers approach vertical orientation;
     - anterior and posterior talofibular ligaments blend in with the joint capsule (unlike the calcaneal fibular ligament);
            - thus capsular tears accompany tears of the 2 talofibular ligaments;
     - distance from tip of fibula to center of fibular attachment of anterior talofibular ligament is 10 millimeters;

- Discussion:
     - weakest of the lateral ligaments;
     - prevents anterior subluxation of talus when ankle is in plantar flexion;
     - orientation of ant talofibular lig depends on position of ankle joint.
           - in plantar flexion, it is parallel to long axis of foot, whereas in dorsiflexion, it is aligned w/ tibial & fibular shafts;
           - strain in ATFL is minimum in dorsiflexion & neutral, & it increased as ankle is moved progressively through plantar flexion;

- Exam:
     - it is difficult to be certain which lig is being evaluated w/ each of clinical tests;
     - commonly used tests for eval of lateral ligament laxity of ankle are anterior drawer & talar tilt tests.
     - inversion (supination) test
     - w/ ankle in plantarflexion: evaluates anterior talofibular ligament;
     - in neutral / sl. dorisflexion: evaluates calcaneofibular ligament



The contribution of the anterior talofibular ligament to ankle laxity.

Biomechanical evaluation of the anterior drawer test: the contribution of the lateral ankle ligaments.

Instability of the hindfoot after lesion of the lateral ankle ligaments: investigations of the anterior drawer and adduction maneuvers in autopsy specimens.



Original Text by Clifford R. Wheeless, III, MD.

Last updated by Data Trace Staff on Monday, October 29, 2012 10:53 am