The anterolateral ligament (ALL), which was first described in 1879, was reintroduced in 2013 by Claes et al. It originates near the lateral epicondyle of the distal femur, runs along the lateral outer aspect of the knee, and inserts on the proximal tibia between Gerdy’s tubercle and fibular head. The ALL tightens when the knee is internally rotated (twisted inwards), and in doing so, it is proposed to be a stabilizer to internal tibial rotation. Biomechanical studies showed that the ALL restrains internal rotation of the tibia and thus affects the pivot-shift phenomenon in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)-injured knee. Therefore, it is proposed that the deficient ALL can be a reason for persistent rotatory instability after ACL reconstruction. Furthermore, ALL reconstruction techniques have evolved and indications extended. Commonly accepted indications for concomitant ACL and ALL reconstruction are ACL revisions, high-grade pivot-shift test, chronic ACL rupture, and young patients and patients doing pivoting activities. Most surgeons perform an anatomic reconstruction technique with gracilis autograft. However, only few studies published reporting the outcomes of ALL reconstruction and more studies with longer follow-up times are, therefore, needed to provide the compelling clinical evidence for the efficacy of concomitant ACL and ALL procedures.
Part of the book: Knee Surgery