Anterior talofibular ligament
The weakest and most commonly injured ligament in the ankle is the anterior talofibular ligament. This lateral ligament consists of a band of connective tissue and is located on the outside of the ankle, adjacent to the posterior talofibular ligament. Originating in the fibular malleolus, the anterior talofibular ligament connects the talus bone to the anterior fibula. It measures 2 millimeters thick, 10 millimeters wide and 20 millimeters long. 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 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 are typically mild when stretched beyond its means, 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.
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In Depth: Anterior talofibular ligament