Anatomy and Biomechanics of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament: A Three-Dimensional Problem

  • R. Huiskes
  • L. Blankevoort


The cruciate ligaments perform the contrasting functions of permitting motion of the articular surfaces on the one hand, and restraining their motion on the other by offering resistance to certain forces. The excessive restraint of mobility leads to functional disability and unphysiologic loading of the ligaments, whereas deficient restraint leads to instability. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) plays a critical role in the performance of this task. This role is determined entirely by the anatomic configuration of the ligament attachments and the mechanical properties of the ligament itself. In turn, the mechanical properties of the ACL depend on its three-dimensional collagenous structure. These interdependencies are of clinical importance. In knee laxity tests, for example, an attempt is made to assess the function of the ACL and diagnose the severity of lesions on the basis of observed or elicited joint motion. In reconstructions of the ACL, an attempt is made to repair the lesion to the degree that normal motion restraint is reestablished.


Anterior Cruciate Ligament Cruciate Ligament External Rotation Posterior Cruciate Ligament Flexion Angle 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Huiskes
  • L. Blankevoort

There are no affiliations available

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