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Ligaments of the Knee Joint

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Updated June 05, 2014

Woman stretching leg at gym
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The Knee:

The knee joint, medically known as the tibiofemoral joint, is the largest joint in the body. Two bones make up this joint; the femur and tibia. This joint is dependent on the muscles and ligaments which surround it for strength.

The Ligaments:

Four ligaments are present in the knee joint, the medical collateral ligament, lateral collateral ligament, anterior cruciate ligament, and posterior cruciate ligament. These ligaments provide strength to the knee joint.

The medial collateral ligament is located at the inside of the knee joint. It extends from the medial femoral epicondyle to the tibia. This ligament prevents excessive abduction of the knee.

The lateral collateral ligament is located at the outside of the knee joint. It extends from the lateral femoral epicondyle to the head of the fibula. This ligament prevents excessive adduction of the knee.

The anterior cruciate ligament extends posterolaterally from the tibia and inserts on the lateral femoral condyle. This ligament prevents excessive posterior movement of the femur on the tibia.

The posterior cruciate ligament extends anteromedially from the tibia posterior to the medial femoral condyle. This ligament prevents excessive anterior movement of the femur on the tibia.
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