Anatomy is not dead and old – New Knee Ligament Found! Anteriolateral Ligament

Students often get an impression that we’ve already learned everything about the anatomy of the human body – like it’s a fixed set of terms, parts, and knowledge in a box. To bust that myth – last week, researchers revealed they discovered a new ligament in the knee. We already learn about the 2 collaterals and 2 cruciate ligaments (do you remember what AND WHERE they are?).

Belgian researchers have described a new ligament in the human knee, termed the anterolaterial ligament (ALL). They looked at 41 cadaver knees and 40 of them had this ligament. A French surgeon all the way back in 1879 stated that there might be this ligament, but it wasn’t proven until Dr. Steven Claes and his team at University of Leuven in Belgium presented their findings this past March at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting in Chicago.

And a new study was just published last month in the Journal of Anatomy that has fueled all the news publicity it is now getting. When people injure their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the patients get a “pivot shift,” the knee gives way when it is moved in a certain direction. The study says that these patients actually injured their ALL not ACL. The ALL helps to control the tibia (remember “BIG T,” the TIBIA is the most median part of the leg, like TEXAS is the middle South of the United States).

Lateral View Right Knee

Lateral View Right Knee

Looking at the photo, you see that the ALL is right next to the lateral collateral ligament (LCL on the images). Remember you might see the LCL being called the fibular collateral ligament because it connects the femur (big bone on the left of the image) to the fibula (right). The new ALL starts from roughly the same location on the femur as the LCL and goes diagonally to the tibia (where Gurdy’s Tubercle is) instead of the fibula. (for a larger image, go to Huffington Post)

Looks like we need to get new knee models.

Online resources:

I tried to find source articles, but was unable to in my limited time. Here are some news stories from the past week. Some have photos and videos:


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