New Knee Ligament
8 Nov 2013
After centuries of dissection , they only found it now ?
Asleep at the scalpel .
Remember the breast ligaments .
The same thing .
The dead hand of the past .
New knee ligament discovered by Belgian surgeons could help reduce sports injuries
The previously unfamiliar anterolateral ligament (ALL) could be central to one of the most common sports injuries in the world
A pair of Belgian surgeons believe they have identified a brand-new, previously undiscovered knee ligament.
There have been glimpses in past research but Dr Claes and Professor Johan Bellemans say this is the first time the structure of the anterolateral ligament (ALL) and its purpose have been so clearly established.
The injury is particularly prevalent in contact sports such as football, rugby and American football but this latest discovery could help doctors understand the injury much better.
Mr Paul Trikha was not involved in the research itself but was astounded by what he read in the study.
"I do around 150 ACL repairs each year. When I saw Dr Claes' research, it blew me away," he told the BBC.
Four main ligaments support the knee and criss-cross between the upper leg (femur) and lower leg (tibia) to help stabilise the joint.
The joint itself is very complex and has been the subject of extensive research - this particular structure was documented by French surgeon Paul Segond in 1879 but it hasn't been surgically defined until now.
Mr Trikha added: "Knowing about the anterolateral ligament (ALL) has given us a better understanding of what other structures may be damaged during this common injury and this will hopefully open up opportunities to improve surgery for our patients."