Ligament length patterns, strength, and rotational axes of the knee joint

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1976 Jun:(117):263-70.


Using intact fresh specimens, the cruciate ligament lengths for positions of flexion and internal-external rotation were computed using a non-invasive technique; using photographic methods, the centers of transverse rotation on the tibia and the direction of the flexion axis were also obtained. The anterior cruciate was found to be particularly effective in restraining internal tibial rotation; the ability of the posterior cruciate to restrain external rotation, however, depended strongly on the transverse axis location. Ligament length changes during flexion were found to be small in the absence of rotary torque and anteroposterior forces. The average internal rotation occurring during flexion was 37 degrees, half of which took place during the first 15 degrees of flexion. Ultimate rupture strengths of approximately 60 kh for the cruciates were measured, with stiffnesses of 16 kg/mm.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology*
  • Knee Joint / surgery
  • Ligaments, Articular*
  • Middle Aged
  • Rotation