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Cruciate ligament

The two cruciate ligaments (anterior and posterior) are very important ligaments right in the middle of the knee, connecting the thighbone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia).

The word 'cruciate' means 'crossed', referring to the fact that the two cruciate ligaments cross over one another, the one crossing over from front to back (the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL) and the other one crossing over from the back to the front (the posterior cruciate ligament or PCL).

cruciate ligaments

Rupture of either ACL or PCL is a major incident, often accompanied by a loud 'bang', and an inability to continue with the activity - with later swelling and collapsing of the joint.

Controversy relates to the frequent occurrence of related meniscus tears, and whether or not it is important to do a reparative operation early to avoid subsequent meniscal damage.

Issues include where to take a replacement graft from - autograft, allograft, xenograft, synthetic graft - and in the case of autograft, what part of the body to use for the replacement graft - patellar tendon or hamstrings.

Relevant resources on this site:

Courses about Knee Ligament Issues

19 Aug, 2015

These in-depth courses by experts are about the ligaments of the knee, such as the cruciate ligament and the collateral ligaments. They...

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Practical Surgical Guide

23 Jan, 2015
Image of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Practical Surgical Guide

This is a clinical text written by experts for experts, and has over 500 pages of well-indexed detail and is richly illustrated in colour. It is not a beginner's book.

The three editors - Rainer Siebold, David Dejour, and...


Cruciate ligament rehabilitation - Part 9 - Rehab after surgery

07 Mar, 2008

In this section I will give you a series of practical exercises after surgery, both in hospital and as you get back to normal activities.

In hospital

Control of pain and swelling are the priorities immediately after surgery.



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