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Knee Mechanics


KNEE RESTRAINTS - Sectioning Studies

Primary Restraints Secondary Restraints
Anterior translation ACL
  1. iliotibial band: 24% 
  2. mid medial capsule: 22% 
  3. mid lateral capsule: 20% 
  4. MCL: 16% 
  5. LCL: 12%
  6. Meniscii

Posterior translation

PCL (large anterior bundle more NB progressively from 0 to 90 degrees) LCL

Internal rotation

ACL POL/PMC has secondary effect within 0 - 45 degrees

External rotation 

Popliteofibular ligament
LCL and the posterolateral complex - mainly at 30 degrees flexion
MCL  - at all degrees of flexion


Superficial MCL is the primary restraint to valgus stress at all angles  (least effect at full extension)
Postero-Medial Capsule is tightened at full extension; past 30 degrees it slackens
Deep MCL (medial capsular ligament) has little resistance to valgus load
Posterior Oblique ligament (POL) - especially near or at full extension



LCL  in all positions of flexion. Greatest effect at 30 degrees, least at full extension Posterolateral structures (Popliteofibular lig.)

Posterolateral Structures:

  1. Arcuate Ligament

  2. Fibular Collat ligament

  3. Popliteus tendon

  4. Popliteofibular ligament

      • fibers originate from the popliteal tendon and insert onto the fibula
      • deep to the arcuate ligament and its fibers orientation are opposite from the arcuate ligament
    • See Pictures - posterior & lateral

Details of Sectioning Studies

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Total Knee Replacement
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
Knee - Osteotomies
Knee Anatomy
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Knee Ligament - Sectioning Studies
Knee Ligament Injuries
Knee Mechanics
Lateral Meniscus Syndrome:
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Meniscal Injuries
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Osteochondritis dissecans
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