Background: Characterize the anatomy of the Anterolateral Ligament (ALL) in fresh donated knees and as viewed using MRI imaging within knees.
Methods: The ALL was dissected from the 8 fresh donated knees. Both dissections of fresh cadaver knees and MRI imaging were used to provide a description of the anatomical features and projections of the ALL as well as the conditions for optimal imaging of this structure.
Results: The ALL was identified in all but one of the 8 (87.5%) knees. It originates from the fibular condyle of the femur and courses anterolaterally to the tibial plateau. The ALL width within the tibial plateau was 7.42 ± 0.80 mm, 8.56 ± 0.59 mm and 10.53 ± 0.51 mm within the different in footprints of the ALL in the femur and tibia. The thickness within the tibial plateau was 1.29 ± 0.03 mm. The length of the ALL was 33.93 ± 1.81 mm. When using 3.0 T MRI, the ALL could be clearly identified within coronal positions of the 7 fresh cadaver knees.
Conclusion: We show that the ALL courses along the anterolateral side of the knee, originating in the condylus lateralis femoris and terminating in the tibial plateau. The ALL projects superior to, and connects with, the lateral meniscus. It seems likely, that a clearer image of the ALL could be achieved with a flexion of the knee at 60º.