The Anterolateral Complex and Anterolateral Ligament of the Knee

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2018 Apr 15;26(8):261-267. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-16-00758.


The anterolateral structures of the knee have recently garnered considerable interest regarding their role in rotatory knee instability related to anterior cruciate ligament tears. Isolated anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction may not always restore rotatory stability of the knee. In these patients, additional procedures, such as lateral reconstruction or tenodesis, may be indicated. The anatomy of the anterolateral structures of the knee has been well described. Histologic and anatomic studies have reported conflicting findings regarding the presence of a discrete ligament. The biomechanical role of the anterolateral capsule in restraining internal tibial rotation has been described as negligible. The existing body of research on the anterolateral knee structures provides insight into the composition of the anterolateral complex of the knee.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / physiopathology*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries / complications
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / methods
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / etiology
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Joint Instability / surgery
  • Knee / physiopathology*
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Knee Joint / surgery
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Tenodesis / methods