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Anterior Cruciate Ligament
Connective Tissue

Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Ligamentum cruciatum anterius

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The cruciate ligaments are strong intra-articular ligaments of the knee joint. These are of two cruciate ligaments, one anterior and one posterior, named with reference to their tibial attachments.

The anterior cruciate ligament is attached to the anterior intercondylar area on the tibial plateau, anterolateral to the medial tibial eminence. It ascends posterolaterally to attach superiorly on the posteromedial aspect of the lateral condyle of the femur.

The blood supply to the anterior cruciate ligament arises from branches of the middle genicular artery, which form a vascular synovial envelope around the ligament. These periligamentous vessels penetrate the ligament transversely and anastomose with a longitudinal network of endoligamentous vessels (Arnoczky, 1983). Vasomotor and proprioceptive innervation to the anterior cruciate ligament comes from the tibial nerve.

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Anatomical Relations

On the tibial intercondylar area, the anterior cruciate ligament lies between the anterior horn of the medial meniscus (anteriorly) and the anterior horn of the lateral meniscus (posteriorly).


The anterior cruciate ligament provides stability to the knee joint by preventing the femur from sliding backwards on the tibia resulting in hyperextension of the knee.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament

—Unhappy Triad

—Anterior drawer sign


Arnoczky, S. P. (1983) 'Anatomy of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament', Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®, 172, pp. 19-25.

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Anterior Cruciate Ligament

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The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most important ligaments that play an important role in the knee stability.

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