The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the two cruciate ligaments inside the knee.

anterior cruciate ligament

The anterior cruciate ligament tethers the femur to the tibia, attaching to the femur within the notch.

tension of anterior cruciate in extension


The ligament is comprised of two bundles - the anteromedial and the posterolateral bundle, and they separately take the loads in flexion and extension.


Complex anatomy of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)

The ACL prevents the tibia from excessive forward motion relative to the femur, and also prevents too much inwards twisting. The wide footprint and the complexity of the two bundles have given surgeons a lot of headaches in their attempts over the years to reproduce the anatomy during a reconstruction procedure.


There are important issues relating to the timing of cruciate ligament surgery.

Professor Adrian Wilson explains how thinking moved in a not-very-helpful way during the years that cruciate ligament reconstruction was being developed

An 'interpretation' of a 2010 medical paper discussing those people who are born without cruciate ligaments, and the sort of associated conditions that might go with this.

An 'interpretation' of a 2009 paper looking at the factors that increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis after cruciate ligament injury.

What is complex or multiligament instability?

Multiple damaged ligaments require expert evaluation.

Holly Silvers discusses how special training can reduce the incidence of ACL tears.




Anatomy of the anterior cruciate ligament. Duthon VB, Barea C, Abrassart S, Fasel JH, Fritschy D and Ménétrey J. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2006 Mar;14(3):204-13. Epub 2005 Oct 19.

A Systematic Summary of Systematic Reviews on the Topic of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. Anderson MJ, Browning WM III, Urband CE, Kluczynski MA and Bisson LJ. Orthop J Sports Med. 2016 Mar; 4(3): 2325967116634074.

See also -

eBook - ACL Repair in Children

An easy-to-read book about a challenging subject.