The anterolateral complex of the knee: results from the International ALC Consensus Group Meeting


The structure and function of the anterolateral complex (ALC) of the knee has created much controversy since the ‘re-discovery’ of the anterolateral ligament (ALL) and its proposed role in aiding control of anterolateral rotatory laxity in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injured knee. A group of surgeons and researchers prominent in the field gathered to produce consensus as to the anatomy and biomechanical properties of the ALC. The evidence for and against utilisation of ALC reconstruction was also discussed, generating a number of consensus statements by following a modified Delphi process. Key points include that the ALC consists of the superficial and deep aspects of the iliotibial tract with its Kaplan fibre attachments on the distal femur, along with the ALL, a capsular structure within the anterolateral capsule. A number of structures attach to the area of the Segond fracture including the capsule-osseous layer of the iliotibial band, the ALL and the anterior arm of the short head of biceps, and hence it is not clear which is responsible for this lesion. The ALC functions to provide anterolateral rotatory stability as a secondary stabiliser to the ACL. Whilst biomechanical studies have shown that these structures play an important role in controlling stability at the time of ACL reconstruction, the optimal surgical procedure has not yet been defined clinically. Concern remains that these procedures may cause constraint of motion, yet no clinical studies have demonstrated an increased risk of osteoarthritis development. Furthermore, clinical evidence is currently lacking to support clear indications for lateral extra-articular procedures as an augmentation to ACL reconstruction. The resulting statements and scientific rationale aim to inform readers on the most current thinking and identify areas of needed basic science and clinical research to help improve patient outcomes following ACL injury and subsequent reconstruction.

Level of evidence V.

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The ALC Consensus Group would like to acknowledge the generous support from Smith and Nephew PLC to enable this meeting. ALC Consensus Group: Andrew Amis, UK; Charles Brown, UAE; Etienne Cavaignac, France; Steven Claes, Belgium; Matt Daggett, USA; David Dejour, France; Lars Engebretsen, Norway; Hua Feng, China; Braden Fleming, USA; Freddie Fu, USA; Andrew Geeslin, USA; Alan Getgood, Canada; Daniel Guenther, Germany; Camilo Partezani Helito, Brazil; Elmar Herbst, Germany; Eivind Inderhaug, Norway; Jon Karlsson, Sweden; Christoph Kittl, Germany; Ryosuke Kuroda, Japan; Robert LaPrade, USA; Philippe Landreau, Qatar; Tim Lording, Australia; Werner Mueller, Switzerland; Volker Musahl, USA; Phillippe Neyret, France; Frank Noyes, USA; Andrew Pearle, USA; Adnan Saithna, UK; Robert Smigielski, Poland; Bertrand Sonnery-Cottet, France; Tim Spalding, UK; Pieter Van Dyck, Belgium; Peter Verdonk, Belgium; Andy Williams, UK; Adrian Wilson, UK; and Stefano Zaffagnini, Italy.


The ALC Concensus meeting was supported via an educational grant from Smith and Nephew PLC.

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Correspondence to Alan Getgood.

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The members of the ALC Consensus Group are listed in Acknowledgements.

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Getgood, A., Brown, C., Lording, T. et al. The anterolateral complex of the knee: results from the International ALC Consensus Group Meeting. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 27, 166–176 (2019).

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  • Anterolateral complex
  • Kaplan fibres
  • Iliotibial band
  • Anterolateral ligament
  • Anterior cruciate ligament