Bifurcate ligament

Last revised by Joachim Feger on 7 Feb 2023

The bifurcate ligament is one of the ligaments of the midtarsal joint, connecting the calcaneus with the navicular and the cuboid bone.

Gross anatomy

The bifurcate ligament arises from the anterior process of the calcaneus (distal to the origin of the extensor digitorum brevis). It consists of two components, which form a Y-shape:

  • the calcaneonavicular component (also known as the lateral calcaneonavicular component) extends medially and attaches to the dorsolateral part of the navicular
  • the calcaneocuboid component (also known as the medial calcaneocuboid ligament) extends laterally and attaches to the dorsomedial part of the cuboid

Practical points

The medial calcaneocuboid ligament often blends with the dorsal calcaneocuboid ligament and in such a case they are indistinguishable on MRI.

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