Neural anatomy of the human anterior cruciate ligament

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1987 Feb;69(2):243-7.


The histology of the anterior cruciate ligament was studied by a modified technique of the Gairns gold chloride stain for neural elements. Three morphological types of mechanoreceptors and free nerve-endings were identified: two of the slow-adapting Ruffini type and the third, a rapidly adapting Pacinian corpuscle. Rapidly adapting receptors signal motion and slow-adapting receptors subserve speed and acceleration. Free nerve-endings, which are responsible for pain, were also identified within the ligament. These neural elements comprise 1 per cent of the area of the anterior cruciate ligament.

MeSH terms

  • Axons / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Knee Joint*
  • Ligaments, Articular / innervation*
  • Mechanoreceptors / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Endings / anatomy & histology
  • Pacinian Corpuscles / anatomy & histology
  • Peripheral Nerves / anatomy & histology*