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Anterior talofibular ligament

The weakest and most commonly injured ligament in the ankle is the anterior talofibular ligament. This is a lateral ligament, which means it consists of a band of connective tissue and is located on the outside of the ankle. It is near the posterior talofibular ligament.

Originating from the fibular malleolus — an area at the end of the calf bone (fibula) — the anterior talofibular ligament connects the talus (ankle) bone to the anterior (front) fibula. It measures 2 millimeters thick, 10-12 millimeters wide, and about 20 millimeters in length. It, along with other ligaments and bones, maintains stability in the ankle joint, protecting it from force.

When a ligament in the ankle becomes bruised, stretched, or torn, a “sprain injury” occurs, restricting the motion of the ankle. Because of its lateral position in the ankle, the anterior talofibular ligament absorbs most of the negative impact when the foot is planted unnaturally or when the ankle twists in an awkward way. The sprains to this joint that occur from it being stretched beyond its means are typically mild. However, if the ligament becomes slightly or completely torn, the damage can be more severe. In its mildest form, a strain to the anterior talofibular ligament will mend itself in three to four days.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Anterior talofibular ligament

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