Maintaining anterolateral rotational stability of the knee requires a complex set of structures, most notably the anterior cruciate ligament. However, lateral knee structures such as the anterolateral ligament (ALL) also play an important role. There has been controversy over the role the ALL plays in an ACL deficient knee to maintain rotational stability. In this study, we examined ACL deficient knees with and without intact ALLs, for rotatory laxity using a pivot shift examination. This was graded using International Knee Document Committee (IKDC) criteria. MRI was used to view the ALL and its status. We found no statistically significant difference in rotational stability of ACL deficient knees, with or without intact ALLs. We did however find a statistically significant association between injury to the ALL and other concomitant lateral structures such as the lateral collateral ligament, biceps femoris tendon, and iliotibial band. This supports that the ALL works in concert with the other lateral structures in the knee and the ACL, to provide rotational stability. This suggests that as an isolated structure, the ALL's contribution to clinical rotational stability is not significant, even in the presence of an ACL tear.
- Anterolateral ligament
- Anterolateral rotational stability
- Knee MRI
- Pivot shift
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine