New Ligament Discovered in Human Knee

Two Belgian scientists have discovered a new ligament in the knee.
Posted at 11:32 AM, Nov 06, 2013

After hundreds of years studying the human body, scientists are still finding stuff. 

"Two Belgian surgeons say they've discovered a new ligament in the knee. They call it the anterolateral ligament - or ALL. It runs alongside the CLL ligament on the outside of the knee." (via WPVI)

The newly-discovered ALL seems to play a large role in recovery for athletes who tear their ACL, one of the most devastating injuries for athletes to date. (via WJLA)

"Subsequent research shows that pivot shift, the giving way of the knee in patients with an ACL tear, is caused by an injury in the ALL ligament." (via Earthsky)

To make this modern discovery, the Belgian scientists looked more than 130 years into the past. 

A French surgeon in 1879 speculated about the existence of this new ligament calling it a, "pearly, resistant, fibrous band" ​but this was the first study to seem to confirm the ligaments existence once and for all. (via Wikimedia Commons)

Medical Daily reports, researchers had to dissect more than 40 knees — from cadavers. 

"In all but one of the knees, the researchers found that the 'pearly band' was a well-defined, clearly distinguishable structure." (via Medical Daily)

The next step for researchers is to determine the ALL's biomechanical function. Scientists believe further research on how to repair the ALL will help athletes and others recover from ACL tears in the future.