Two doctors at University Hospitals Leuven have long been curious why the knees of patients who’d had torn ligaments repaired continued to “give way”.
For several years, two doctors at University Hospitals Leuven were curious why the knees of patients who’d had torn ACL ligaments repaired continued to “give way”.
To get answers, they started researching possible causes for the seemingly odd happening.
A significant finding that proved essential to their search was an article published in 1879. Its author suggested there might be an additional ligament located in the anterior of the knee.
After using macroscopic dissection on a variety of cadavers, the duo confirmed that the 19th century surgeon was right.
They passed on the opportunity to name it after him, though, opting to call it the anterolateral ligament – or A L L for short – instead.
97 percent of all people have one, and it’s likely been the culprit behind many reported post ACL surgery problems.
As it runs down the front and sides of the knee, it’s the one that’s responsible for a lot of the pivot shifting that happens in that part of the body.
Now that they’ve found it, the Belgian doctors say they’re going to start working on techniques to fix it. It’s estimated that will take several years.