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Foot and Ankle Surgery
Volume 28 (7), 2022, Pages 950-955

Length change pattern of the ankle deltoid ligament during physiological ankle motion

Shengxuan Cao, Chen Wang, Chao Zhang, Jiazhang Huang, Xu Wang, Xin Ma

Department of Orthopedics, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Abstract

Background

Length change pattern of the ankle deltoid ligament during physiological ankle motion is still confused currently and had not been studied in vivo.

Methods

The deltoid ligaments from 7 cadaveric specimens were dissected. Lengths of each band during 30° plantarflexion to 20° dorsiflexion were measured. A dual fluoroscopy imaging system was utilized to capture the images of hindfoot joint of 7 healthy subjects during the stance phase of walking. 3D bone models were reconstructed from CT images. Lengths of each band were calculated after model-image registration utilizing a solid modeling software. Percentage of length variation and poses when the bands were in maximum extension were documented among each band.

Results

The anterior border of tibiocalcaneal ligament (TCL) had only 1.7% length variation in vitro and 5.7% length variation in vivo. The tibionavicular ligament, tibiospring ligament, and deep anterior tibiotalar ligament were in maximum extension at 30° plantarflexion, however, superficial posterior tibiotalar ligament, deep posterior tibiotalar ligament, and the posterior border of TCL were in maximum extension at 20° dorsiflexion. The tibionavicular ligament, tibiospring ligament, and deep anterior tibiotalar ligament were in maximum extension during foot flat. The TCL was in maximum extension during midstance. The superficial posterior tibiotalar ligament and deep posterior tibiotalar ligament were in maximum extension during heel off and toe off.

Conclusion

The length of TCL did not change during ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion. The bands anterior to and posterior to the TCL showed different length change pattern during physiological ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion.

Keywords: Deltoid ligament, Kinematics, Tibiocalcaneal ligament, Dual fluoroscopy imaging system.

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