The most commonly injured ligament of the knee is the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL. The risk of injury is greater among those who participate in high-risk sports like football, basketball, soccer, and skiing. Around half of ACL injuries occur in combination with damage to the meniscus (cartilage pad), other ligaments, or other structures. Most of the time, injury to the ACL occurs with pivoting, sidestepping, awkward landings or difficult cutting movements.
The knee is a hinged joint that is held together by four ligaments, one of them being the ACL. This structure runs diagonally in the middle portion of the knee to prevent the lower leg bone (the tibia) from sliding out in front of the thighbone (the femur). The ACL also serves to provide rotational stability of the knee.« Back to Glossary Index