Deltoid ligament of the ankle

The complex of the medial collateral ligaments of the ankle joint is collectively called deltoid ligament. It attaches the medial malleolus to multiple tarsal bones.

Gross anatomy

The ligament is composed of two layers. The superficial layer has variable attachments and crosses two joints while the deep layer has talar attachments and crosses one joint:

It is a strong triangular band attached to the apex and the anterior and posterior borders of the medial malleolus. The plantar calcaneonavicular ligament can be considered as part of the medial complex.

  • superficial layer (from anterior to posterior)
    • tibionavicular ligament (anterior)
      • pass forwards to the navicular tuberosity behind which they blend with the medial margin of the plantar calcaneonavicular ligament 
    • tibiocalcaneal ligament (intermediate)
      • descend almost vertically to the entire length of the sustentaculum tali 
    • posterior tibiotalar ligament (posterior)
      • pass posterolateral to the medial side of the talus and its medial tubercle
  • deep layer: this layer is intra-articular and is covered by synovium
    • anterior tibiotalar ligament (ATTL) 
      • short and thin ligament, pass from the tip of the medial malleolus to the non articular part of the medial talar surface
      • crossed by the tendons of the tibialis posterior and flexor digitorum longus 

See also

Anatomy: Lower limb

Anatomy: Lower limb

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Article information

rID: 22829
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Deltoid ligament
  • Deltoid ligament of the ankle
  • Medial collateral ligament of the ankle

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: deep layer
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 2: superficial layer
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 1: with sprain
    Drag here to reorder.
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