Medical Definition of Anterior cruciate ligament

  • 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.

Anterior cruciate ligament: A ligament in the knee that crosses from the underside of the femur (the thigh bone) to the top of the tibia (the bigger bone in the lower leg). Abbreviated ACL. Injuries to the ACL can occur in a number of situations, including sports, and can be quite serious, requiring surgery.

Knee Joint illustration - Anterior cruciate ligament

The anterior cruciate ligaments, one on either side of the knee, are so called because they cross each other in front of the knee. "Cruciate" taken from the Latin "crux" for "cross" means "in the form of a cross." See: Anterior cruciate injury.

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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