Functional anatomy of the anterior cruciate ligament. Fibre bundle actions related to ligament replacements and injuries

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1991 Mar;73(2):260-7. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.73B2.2005151.


This work studied the fibre bundle anatomy of the anterior cruciate ligament. Three functional bundles--anteromedial, intermediate, and posterolateral--were identified in cadaver knees. Their contributions to resisting anterior subluxation in flexion and extension were found by repeated tests after sequential bundle transection. Changes of length in flexion and extension and in tibial rotation were measured. None of the fibres were isometric. The posterolateral bundle was stretched in extension and the anteromedial in flexion, which correlated with increased contributions to knee stability and the likelihood of partial ruptures in these positions. Tibial rotation had no significant effect. The fibre length changes suggested that the 'isometric point' aimed at by some ligament replacements lay anterior and superior to the femoral origin of the intermediate fibre bundle and towards the roof of the intercondylar notch.

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / anatomy & histology*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / physiology
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Movement