The anterolateral ligament: A cadaveric study in fetuses

Ainhoa Nekane Toro-Ibarguen, Juan Abelardo Augusto Pretell, Elena Pérez, Isabel Pedrajas, Juan Miguel Cano-Egea, Jose Ramón Sanudo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to determine the presence and morphology of the anterolateral ligament (ALL) of the knee in a sample of fetuses. We hypothesized that the ALL is present in sample fetuses and its origin is not related to repetitive stresses throughout life. Forty fresh-frozen knees from cadaveric fetuses were dissected using a standard technique. The ALL and other structures in the anterolateral compartment of the knee were identified. The details of the femoral and tibial attachments, course and relationships with anatomical structures of the ALL were identified, recorded, and quantitatively characterized. The ALL was identified in 100% of the dissected knees. We found three anatomical patterns regarding the femoral attachment: (1) Proximal and posterior to the fibular collateral ligament (55%); (2) Together with the fibular collateral ligament (25%); and (3). Anterior and distal to it (20%). The ALL was extracapsular with an oblique course attaching into the anterolateral aspect of the tibia, midway between the midpoint of Gerdy's tubercle and the fibular head. The ALL has a strong attachment to the lateral meniscus, creating two fascicles: proximal or meniscofemoral and distal or meniscotibial. The ALL is a constant, extracapsular anatomical structure in the anterolateral compartment of the knee, present from the later prenatal period of life. Its morphology shows three different patterns of femoral attachment in relation to the fibular collateral ligament position, a strong attachment in the lateral meniscus, and a constant tibial attachment. Clin. Anat. 30:625–634, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-634
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • anatomy
  • anterior cruciate ligament
  • anterolateral ligament
  • rotatory instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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