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The Anterolateral Ligament of the Knee and Its Evolution In ACL Reconstruction

Dr. Steven Claes’ (University of Leuven, Belgium) recent award-winning research has further defined the anatomy and function of the Anterolateral Ligament (ALL). Writing in the Journal of Anatomy, Dr. Claes suggests the fibrous band could play a part in one of the most common sports injuries worldwide. 
“Despite glimpses of the ligament in medical history, this is the first time its structure and purpose have been so clearly established,” Claes says.

For some patients, rupture of the ACL and ALL may cause excess joint laxity that may not be resolved with ACL reconstruction alone. It is now felt that when the knee undergoes a significant injury and the ACL tears, the ALL often tears with it. This often results in greater abnormalities in rotational stability of the knee, and may be one of the reasons why traditional ACL reconstructive surgery alone is not successful for all patients.

The Anterolateral Ligament of the Knee and Its Evolution In ACL Reconstruction

Anterolateral Ligament (ALL) noted in conjunction with reconstruction of ACL.

Picture courtesy of Arthrex, Inc.

At Sydney Knee Specialists, we are now offering our patients reconstruction of the anterolateral ligament (ALL) when performing reconstruction of the ACL. With the latest technologies, we are able to perform this complex reconstruction without removing any more of the hamstring tendons, whilst potentially providing a more stable knee. The ligament is inserted on the outer side of the knee, generally through 2 small incisions in the anatomic position of the ALL. The recovery and rehabilitation is the same as a routine ACL reconstruction, with surgery being performed as a day-only procedure and no brace being required.

For more information on this operation, please contact Sydney Knee Specialists on +612 8307 0333.

The Anterolateral Ligament of the Knee and Its Evolution In ACL Reconstruction

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  • Australian Orthopaedic Association
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  • International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine
  • Hospital for Special Surgery Alumni Association
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