The lateral talocalcaneal ligament (LTCL) is a short yet sturdy bundle of muscle fibers found in the human ankle. The lateral talocalcaneal ligament stretches from the lateral (outer-side) portion of the talus, or ankle bone, to the lateral surface of the calcaneus, or heel bone. It is located parallel to (alongside) the calcaneofibular ligament. The lateral talocalcaneal ligament’s name is derived from the Latin ligamentum talocalcaneum laterale.
The lateral talocalcaneal ligament can only be viewed by removing the talus bone. A projecting area of bone, the lateral process of the talus extends from the lateral portion of the talus bone. It is comprised of two articular facets, or joint surfaces: the dorsolateral and the inferomedial. The lateral process is the location where the lateral talocalcaneal ligament inserts into the bone.
Injuries to the ankle ligaments are extremely common, particularly in athletes. Fractures in this area of the ankle are also quite common, as no muscles originate in the talus, nor do they connect to the talus bone. The lateral process of the ankle is comprised solely of bone and cartilage, a flexible but tough connective tissue. Injuries to the lateral process can be difficult to view using traditional diagnostic imaging studies.