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ankle ligament

The ankle joint is bound by the strong deltoid ligament and three lateral ligaments: the anterior talofibular ligament, the posterior talofibular ligament, and the calcaneofibular ligament.

The deltoid ligament supports the medial side of the joint, and is attached at the medial malleolus of the tibia and connect in four places to the sustentaculum tali of the calcaneus, calcaneonavicular ligament, the navicular tuberosity, and to the medial surface of the talus.

The anterior and posterior talofibular ligaments support the lateral side of the joint from the lateral malleolus of the fibula to the dorsal and ventral ends of the talus. The calcaneofibular ligament is attached at the lateral malleolus and to the lateral surface of the calcaneus.

Though it does not span across the ankle joint itself, the syndesmotic ligament makes an important contribution to the stability of the ankle. This ligament spans the syndesmosis, which is the term for the articulation between the medial aspect of the distal fibula and the lateral aspect of the distal tibia.

An isolated injury to this ligament is often called a high ankle sprain.

The boney architecture of the ankle joint is most stable in dorsiflexion. Thus, a sprained ankle is more likely to occur when the ankle is plantar-flexed, as ligamentous support is more important in this position. The classic ankle sprain involves the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), which is also the most commonly-injured ligament during inversion sprains. Another ligament that can be injured in a severe ankle sprain is the calcaneofibular ligament.

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