Medical Definition of Knee ligaments

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Knee ligaments: Ligaments are strong, elastic bands of tissue that connect bone to bone. They provide strength and stability to the joint.

Four ligaments connect the femur (the bone in the thigh) with the tibia (the larger bone in the lower leg):

  • The medial collateral ligament (MCL) provides stability to the inner (medial) aspect of the knee.
  • The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) provides stability to the outer (lateral) aspect of the knee.
  • The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), in the center of the knee, limits rotation and the forward movement of the tibia.
  • The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), also in the center of the knee, limits backward movement of the tibia.

Other ligaments are part of the knee capsule, which is a protective, fiber-like structure that wraps around the knee joint. Inside the capsule, the joint is lined with a thin, soft tissue, called synovium.

CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED ARTICLE
Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors