Anterolateral ligament: A New Knee Ligament Discovered

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The ACL tear seemed to be one of the most devastating knee injuries. It might take a very long time for the knee to recover, sometimes up to 12 months. Unfortunately, not all treatments are leading to successful recovery stories. Many patients, regardless of their physical activities and fitness, have been experiencing instability in their knees after successful ACL-repair surgeries.

Knee Ligaments Diagram of the right knee that shows the joint’s important structures: the lateral femoral epicondyle (LFE), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), popliteofibular ligament (PFL), popliteus tendon (PT), anterolateral ligament (ALL), and Gerdy’s tubercle (GT)

 

But, recently good news has brightened up the day of many orthopedic surgeons around the world. A team of Flemish researchers discovered a new knee ligament, the anterolateral ligament, previously unknown to anyone. This new knee ligament has been causing troubles to many athletes such as Tiger Woods leading to the belief that ACL surgeries have not been successful.

“This is a fascinating Rediscovery. We should understand, however, that future ACL recovery rates will not miraculously improve due to fixing the anterolateral ligament. It will probably have little or significance in terms of stability, but we shall see. We will follow it to see what value it has.” – says Dr. Armin Tehrany, Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan.

The new knee ligament, now named anterolateral ligament (ALL), has shifted the attention to the basic anatomy. It seems like there are many more features to be found that hopefully will solve many riddles in the treatments that don’t provide the desired results.

Researchers will continue with their studies of the anterolateral ligament, as well as with finding the appropriate technique to repair the new ligament.