(HealthDay News) – Surgeons have dissected and described a new structure in the human knee joint, the anterolateral ligament (ALL), which connects the femur with the anterolateral tibia, according to research published in the October issue of the Journal of Anatomy.

Steven Claes, MD, of the University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium, and colleagues dissected 41 unpaired, human cadaveric knees to investigate the presence and features of a fibrous band at the anterolateral aspect of the knee.

The researchers found a well-defined ligamentous structure at the anterolateral aspect of the knee in all but one of the 41 cadaveric knees (97%). The origin of the ALL was found at the prominence of the lateral femoral epicondyle, slightly anterior to the origin of the lateral collateral ligament. The ALL follows an oblique course to its insertion on the anterolateral aspect of the proximal tibia, with firm attachments to the lateral meniscus.

“Given its suggested role in common knee instability patterns such as the pivot-shift, the precise anatomical knowledge of this enigmatic structure delivered by this study could be highly relevant for clinical practice,” the authors write.

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