The cervical ligament plays a significant role in lateral stability of the subtalar joint but has received little attention compared with other ankle and subtalar joint ligaments. The purpose of this research was twofold. First, the elongation behavior of the cervical ligament was assessed with the calcaneofibular ligament intact and cut during two different types of inversion loads (manual and mechanical). Second, inversion range of motion was determined concomitantly with inversion loading and the difference in inversion range of motion between the calcaneofibular ligament intact to cut state was compared.
The mean elongation of the cervical ligament with the calcaneofibular intact was 0.58 mm (± 0.33 mm) and 0.46 mm (± 0.23 mm) for manual and mechanical methods, respectively, and 0.88 mm(± 0.37 mm) and 0.78 mm (± 0.37 mm), respectively, for the same methods in the absence of the calcaneofibular ligament. This difference was statistically significant (P < 0.05 manually andP < 0.02 mechanically). An average increase in the inversion range of motion was noted with both methods [7.5 ° manually(± 2.75 °) and 7.7 ° mechanically (± 2.95 °)] after lesioning of the calcaneofibular ligament. This difference was statistically significant (P < 0.001) for both manual and mechanical range of motion testing.
The results of this study indicate that there is a significant increase in elongation of the cervical ligament in the absence of the calcaneofibular ligament during manual and mechanically applied inversion loads in a open kinetic chain. Clinical and theoretical implications of this data are discussed.