ALL or nothing: Investigating the anterolateral ligament of the knee by the use of ultrasound

Zoe McKinnell, Beaulieu Daphnee, Renee Wong, Sara Sulaiman, James Coey

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Although first described in the late 1800s, there has been little mention of the anterolateral ligament (ALL) of the knee in published literature until recently. Its very existence remains controversial. Recent cadaveric studies have renewed interest in the anterolateral ligament and it has supposedly been identified once by ultrasound. The aims of this study are twofold: to determine whether or not the anterolateral ligament is a distinct anatomical structure, and to establish the efficacy of ultrasound as a tool to visualize it. METHODS. Twenty knees from ten randomly selected individuals were examined using a Sonosite MicroMaxx ultrasound machine. A L38e 10-5MHz transducer was used to examine the lateral aspect of the knee in two positions: legs flexed to 30°, and legs flexed to 30° with internal rotation. The iliotibial band, tendon of popliteus, lateral meniscus, lateral collateral ligament, distal part of the femur, tibia and fibular head were identified on each knee. SUMMARY. According to the literature, the anterolateral ligament shares its origin with the lateral collateral ligament, runs inferior to the iliotibial band, and inserts into the mid portion of the proximal tibia. In one of the subjects, a distinct structure that resembled the anterolateral ligament previously documented was visualized. There was no evidence of the anterolateral ligament in the other nine subjects. CONCLUSIONS. Our results suggest that ultrasound might not be an effective method of visualizing the anterolateral ligament. Further studies are necessary to determine if the anterolateral ligament is an artefact of knee position or indeed a distinct anatomical structure.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
EventAmerican Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) 32nd Annual Meeting - Henderson, Nevada
Duration: 1 Jun 2015 → …


ConferenceAmerican Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) 32nd Annual Meeting
Period1/06/15 → …


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