Researchers discover a ligament in the ankle that is not in the anatomy manuals

Researchers discover a ligament in the ankle that is not in the anatomy manuals

Anatomical illustration of a foot. THINKSTOCK

  • Researchers have identified the anatomical structure from new fibers
  • These were usually discarded in anatomical dissections

Researchers at the University of Barcelona (UB) have discovered a new anatomical structure of the human ankle with the identification of new fibers, usually discarded in anatomical dissections, which are actually a new ligament in the lateral part of the ankle.

These results, published in the scientific journal Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, change the understanding of this articulation and could explain why many ankle sprains continue to produce pain even months or years after the initial injury.

According to the manuals of human anatomy, the ligaments of the ankle joint are structures that are grouped by two large ligament complexes: the lateral collateral ligament – located on the lateral part of the joint and formed by three ligaments that are independent of each other – and the medial collateral ligament or deltoid ligament.

In this new scientific study, the UB researchers have defined a new anatomical structure in the ankle: the lateral fibulotalocalcaneal ligamentous complex (LFTCL).

The team responsible for the discovery is specialized in the anatomy of the musculoskeletal system, and professors of the Faculty of Medicine of the UB Jordi Vega, Francisco Malagelada, M. Cristina Manzanares and Miquel Dalmau.
Ankle sprains
The latter has explained that the lateral ligaments of the ankle are those that are injured more often, especially because of ankle sprains, and, in addition, many of the people who suffer this injury have discomfort that lasts over time, and a tendency to return to do a new sprain that until now has not been explained from medicine.

“This lack of explanation was the key to changing the way to approach the dissection of the ligaments, and then we realized that some fibers of connection between ligaments were removed in a habitual way because they were not thought to be part of the ligament”, detailed Dalmau.
Careful dissection of the joint capsule of the ankle has also made it possible to identify for the first time the intraarticular component of the anterior talofibular ligament. According to the study, this ligament would be formed by two fascicles, one upper and one lower, that are respectively inside and outside the joint.

“This finding makes us think that the behavior after an injury will be similar to that of other intra-articular ligaments, such as the anterior cruciate ligament.

Source: / EFE

Close Menu