Anatomy of the inferior extensor retinaculum and its role in lateral ankle ligament reconstruction: a pictorial essay

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2016 Apr;24(4):957-62. doi: 10.1007/s00167-016-4082-5.


The inferior extensor retinaculum (IER) is an aponeurotic structure, which is in continuation with the anterior part of the sural fascia. The IER has often been used to augment the reconstruction of the lateral ankle ligaments, for instance in the Broström-Gould procedure, with good outcomes reported. However, its anatomy has not been described in detail and only a few studies are available on this structure. The presence of a non-constant oblique supero-lateral band appears to be important. This structure defines whether the augmentation of the lateral ankle ligaments reconstruction is performed using true IER or only the anterior part of the sural fascia. It is concluded that the use of this structure will have an impact on the resulting ankle stability.

Keywords: Anatomy; Ankle ligaments; Ankle ligaments repair; Broström-Gould; Inferior extensor retinaculum; Pictorial essay.

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Joint / anatomy & histology*
  • Ankle Joint / surgery
  • Fascia / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Lateral Ligament, Ankle / anatomy & histology
  • Lateral Ligament, Ankle / surgery*
  • Ligaments, Articular / anatomy & histology
  • Tendons / anatomy & histology