Anatomical and magnetic resonance imaging study of the medial collateral ligament of the ankle joint
Introduction: The medial collateral ligament of the ankle joint also known as the deltoid ligament, is a multifascicular group of ligaments. It can be divided into a superficial and deep group of fibers originating from the medial malleolus to insert in the talus, calcaneus, and navicular bones. Wide variations have been noted in the anatomical description of the medial ligamentous complex of the ankle. The various components of the deltoid ligament are well visualized on both axial and coronal images on routine ankle MR imaging sequences including T1 weighted image and T2 weighted image.
Aim: This study was done to study the anatomy of the normal and variated attachment of the medial collateral ligament of the ankle joint, and also to study the MR imaging of the normal, variated and disrupted attachment of the medial collateral ligament.
Materials and methods: Twenty preserved cadaveric adult ankle specimens were collected from the dissecting room, Anatomy Department, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University. MR imaging of ten ankles was performed before and after disruption of every band of the ligament of medial side of the ankle.
Results: The medial collateral ligament of the ankle was found to consist of six bands or components, three of them are always present whereas the presence of the other three may vary. The exact attachments and measurements of these bands were described. Axial imaging provided optimum views of the deep layers of the medial collateral ligament and the tibionavicular ligament. Coronal imaging allowed complete visualization of the tibiocalcaneal, and deep posterior tibiotalar ligaments. High resolution MR imaging allows excellent visualization of the collateral ligaments of the ankle.
Conclusion: The study of the anatomy of the ankle joint, its collateral ligaments and their functions aid for the proper diagnosis and treatment of the conditions affecting the ankle.
Keywords: Medial collateral ligament; MRI; Ankle joint; Disrupted ligament