Purpose: A thorough understanding of the arthroscopic anatomy is important to recognise pathological conditions. Although some ankle ligaments have been described as intra-articular structures, no studies have assessed the full visibility of these structures. The purpose of this study was to assess arthroscopic visibility of medial and lateral ankle collateral ligaments. Methods: Arthroscopy was performed in 20 fresh frozen ankles. The arthroscope was introduced through the anteromedial portal and the anterior compartment was explored in ankle dorsiflexion without distraction. Intra-articular structures were tagged using a suture-passer introduced percutaneously and they were listed in a table according to the surgeon’s identification. After the arthroscopic procedure, the ankles were dissected to identify the suture-tagged structures. Results: According to the suture-tagged structures, 100% correlation was found between arthroscopy and dissection. In the anterior compartment, the superior fascicle of the anterior talofibular ligament, the distal fascicle of the anterior tibiofibular ligament and the anterior tibiotalar ligament on the medial side were observed. The deep fascicle of the posterior tibiofibular ligament and the intermalleolar ligament were tagged at the posterior compartment. Conclusion: Ankle dorsiflexion and non-distraction arthroscopic technique allows full visualisation of the medial and lateral ankle collateral ligaments: the superior fascicle of the anterior talofibular ligament, the distal fascicle of the anterior tibiofibular ligament and the anterior tibiotalar ligament. When using distraction, posterior structures as the deep fascicle of the posterior tibiofibular ligament and the intermalleolar ligament can be observed with anterior arthroscopy.
Dalmau-Pastor, M., Malagelada, F., Kerkhoffs, G. M., Karlsson, J., Guelfi, M., & Vega, J. (2020). Redefining anterior ankle arthroscopic anatomy: medial and lateral ankle collateral ligaments are visible through dorsiflexion and non-distraction anterior ankle arthroscopy. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, 28(1), 18-23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-019-05603-2