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Posterior Cruciate Ligament
Connective Tissue

Posterior Cruciate Ligament

Ligamentum cruciatum posterius

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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 posterior cruciate ligament is thicker and stronger than the anterior cruciate ligament.

Superiorly, the posterior cruciate ligament is attached to the lateral surface of the medial condyle of the femur and the roof of the intercondylar fossa of the femur. Inferiorly, the posterior cruciate ligament is attached to the posterior intercondylar area of the tibia, behind the posterior horn of the medial meniscus.

The posterior cruciate ligament is subdivided into two anterolateral and posteromedial bundles, based on their attachments to the medial surface of the lateral femoral condyle and femoral intercondylar fossa, respectively. The anterolateral bundle tightens during knee flexion, while the posteromedial bundle tightens in knee extension.

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Anatomical Relations

The synovial membrane of the knee joint folds over the posterior cruciate ligament, such that the posterior cruciate ligament is surrounded by it from the front and sides, while there is no synovium behind, i.e., between the posterior cruciate ligament and the intercondylar part of fibrous layer of the articular capsule of the knee. On the tibia, the posterior cruciate ligament lies behind the posterior horns of both medial and lateral menisci.


The posterior cruciate ligament provides stability to the knee joint by preventing the femur from sliding forwards on the tibia.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Posterior drawer test

—Posterior cruciate ligament rupture

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Posterior Cruciate Ligament

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The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) has two prominent fibre bundles (anterolateral (ALB) and posteromedial (PMB)) and is the primary restraint to posterior tibial translation.

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