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Comprehensive Study of the Anterolateral Ligament of the Knee

March 01, 2020

Contributors: Fabio Conteduca, MD; Matthew Daggett, DO; Angelo De Carli, MD; Piergiorgio Drogo; Andrea Ferretti, MD; Edoardo Monaco, MD; Andrea Redler, MD; Daniele Mazza, MD

In the late 19th century, Paul Segond noted a strong structure on the lateral aspect of the knee that resisted internal rotation. Although Viera et al were the first to use the term "anterolateral ligament" to describe a portion of the fascia lata acting as a true ligament, Steven Claes et al should be credited for the detailed anatomic dissection that led to identification of the anterolateral ligament as a well-distinct structure that is identifiable in the capsule. Currently, the anterolateral ligament is considered the main structure of the anterolateral complex, which also includes a portion of the iliotibial tract, a wider area of the lateral capsule, and the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus. Injury of the anterolateral complex in a patient with an anterior cruciate ligament tear results in anterolateral knee instability and a pivot shift. This video comprehensively reports our experience with the anterolateral ligament and the anterolateral complex, which dates back to the late 1970s, at which time the first extra-articular reconstruction procedures were performed at our institution.

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