A cruciate ligament is a large ligament right in the middle of the knee - one of a pair. 

 

What do the cruciate ligaments do?

There are two cruciate ligaments (anterior and posterior) and they are very important structures, connecting the thighbone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia) and stabilising the joint from frontwards and backwards forces.

cruciate ligaments cruciate ligaments - bones distracted tension of anterior cruciate in extension
The word 'cruciate' means 'crossed', referring to the fact that the two cruciate ligaments cross over one another in the centre of the joint. Here the bones are distracted so that you can see the attachments of both anterior and posterior cruciate ligament. Demonstrating how the anterior cruciate ligament is tense when the knee is extended, and lax when it is flexed. The posterior cruciate does the opposite.
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Cruciate Ligament Library

Library of excerpts from the medical literature about Cruciate Ligaments, with links to PubMed

What do the cruciate ligaments do?

The two cruciate ligaments work in tandem to stabilise the knee.

What are the cruciate ligaments?

Illustrated overview of the cruciate ligaments.

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