Essential knee terminology
Lachman test search for term

The Lachman Test is performed by the clinician to assess laxity of the anterior cruciate ligament when there is a suspected tear.

Page updated February 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Lateral search for term

The word 'lateral' is a position word, indicating the outer aspect of something.

Lateral collateral ligament search for term

The lateral collateral ligament supports the knee joint on its outer aspect, ie the lateral side.

Lateral compartment search for term

The lateral compartment is that part of the knee where the femur articulates with the tibia  - but referring only to the outer or lateral side.

Lateral femoral cutaneous nerve search for term

The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is a nerve that supplies sensation to the side and back of the thigh.

Lateral meniscus search for term

The lateral meniscus is the crescentic wedge-shaped structure seated on the top of the tibia (shinbone) on the lateral (outer) side of the knee joint.

Page updated January 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Lateral meniscus hypermobility search for term

The lateral meniscus is normally less stable anyway than the medial meniscus, but sometimes it may be really abnormally mobile.

Lateral release search for term

A lateral release is a surgical procedure to release tight capsular structures (lateral retinaculum) on the outer aspect of the knee.

Page updated Aug 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Lateral retinacular lengthening search for term

Lateral retinacular lengthening is a procedure to improve patellar alignment. This is done by cutting and sliding the superficial layer of retinaculum over the deep layer to allow a controlled release of tension.

Page updated January 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Lateral retinaculum search for term

The lateral retinaculum is the name given to the sheet of fibrous tissue that provide a passive restraint to the patella on the outer (lateral) side of the knee.

Lateral tenodesis search for term

Lateral tenodesis is the reinforcement of the stability of a cruciate-deficient knee by adding a strap-like graft at the side.

Lateral thrust search for term

Lateral thrust is a sudden sideways movement of the knee which occurs in the early stance phase of walking.

Page updated February 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Lateral trochlear inclination angle search for term

The lateral trochlear inclination angle quantifies the degree of any trochlear dysplasia or flattening of the groove of the femur where the patella runs.

Page updated October 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Lavage search for term

Lavage is a procedure where the joint is washed out with a saline solution to remove loose debris, usually from disintegration of joint cartilage.

LCL search for term

LCL is an abbreviation of 'lateral collateral ligament'.

Leg curls search for term

Leg curls are knee rehabilitation exercises to improve hamstring strength.

Leg press search for term

A leg press is a rehabilitation exercise to strengthen the quadriceps muscle.

Lesion search for term

A lesion is a circumscribed area of tissue damage in the body.

Level I study search for term

A Level I study is a research study that includes a properly designed randomised trial.

Lever Sign Test search for term

The Lever Sign test is a manual test for anterior cruciate ligament laxity.

Page updated October 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Ligament search for term

A ligament is a fibrous restraint between two structures.

Ligament of Humphrey search for term

The ligament of Humphrey is the anterior arm of the meniscofemoral ligament.

Page updated February 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Ligament of Wrisberg search for term

The ligament of Wrisberg is the posterior branch of the meniscofemoral ligament.

Page updated February 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Ligament reconstruction search for term

Ligament reconstruction is re-building a torn ligament using tissue from other parts of the body, a donor or synthetic material.

Ligamentisation search for term

Ligamentisation is the process by which a graft rebuilds its structure to resemble the native ligament.

Ligamentum mucosum search for term

The ligamentum mucosum - also known as the infrapatellar plica - is a flimsy band of tissue stretching across the front of the knee between the femur bone and the fat pad behind the kneecap.

Page updated January 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Limb alignment search for term

Limb alignment is the alignment of the leg when standing and weight-bearing.

Page updated September 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Limb reconstruction search for term

Limb reconstruction is the surgical reshaping of a limb that is distorted by injury, birth defect or disease.

Lipoarthritis traumatica genu search for term

Lipoarthritis traumatica genu is a painful disorder of the fat pad of the knee. It is better known as 'fat pad syndrome'.

LLPS search for term

LLPS is an abbreviation of Low Load Prolonged Stretching

LOA search for term

LOA is an abbreviation of 'lysis of adhesions'.

Locked knee search for term

A knee is considered to be locked when following some incident the patient finds themself unable to take the knee through a full range of movement.

Locking search for term

Locking of the knee is when it suddenly gets caught in a bent position, and it is impossible to straighten it without assistance.

Longitudinal tear search for term

A longitudinal tear of the meniscus follows the curvature of the crescentic shock absorber that comprises the meniscus.

Loose body search for term

A loose body is a loose piece of articular cartilage or meniscus floating around in the knee joint.

Low Load Prolonged Stretching search for term

Low load prolonged stretching is a slow moderate stretch for a prolonged time.

Page updated January 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Lunges search for term

Lunges are knee rehabilitation exercises.

Lying wall slides search for term

Lying wall slides are knee rehabilitation exercises to increase flexion of the knee.

Page updated July 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

Lying wall slides (facilitated) search for term

Lying wall slides are knee rehabilitation exercises to improve flexion - 'facilitated' exercises use the good leg to help gain deeper flexion.

Lysholm search for term

The Lysholm scoring system was originally developed to give a score to patients with knee ligament injuries.

Lysis of adhesions search for term

Lysis of adhesions is the surgical procedure of breaking down the strands of material which can form inside the joint if the knee is inflamed; these strands are called 'adhesions'.

Page updated November 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

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