Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Long lost ligament

In 1879, a French surgeon postulated that an additional ligament existed on the anterior of the human knee. Only now, after a broad cadaver study using macroscopic dissection techniques, have Belgian orthopedic surgeons proved the French doctor right. Steven Claes and Johan Bellemans of University Hospitals Leuven have identified the anterolateral ligament or ALL (IMAGE ABOVE) as a critical component in episodes where the knees of patients who have had their ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) repaired give way. The researchers write, “The ALL was found to be a distinct ligamentous structure at the anterolateral aspect of the human knee with consistent origin- and insertion-site features. Given its structure and anatomic location, the ALL is hypothesized to control internal tibial rotation and thus to affect the pivot shift phenomenon, although further studies are needed to investigate its biomechanical function.”

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