The Meniscofemoral Ligaments Influence Lateral Meniscal Motion at the Human Knee Joint

Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
Arthroscopy The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.21). 11/2010; 27(3):365-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.arthro.2010.07.025
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the meniscofemoral ligaments on lateral meniscal motion during flexion and extension of the human knee joint.
A cadaveric biomechanical study was performed. The effect of meniscofemoral ligament tension on the dynamics of the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus was determined by image analysis.
We found that the meniscofemoral ligaments functioned in a reciprocal manner, with the anterior meniscofemoral ligament developing tension with flexion and the posterior meniscofemoral ligament tensioning with extension. Analysis of posterior horn motion showed that the meniscofemoral ligaments caused a medial, superior, and anterior displacement of the posterior horn throughout knee motion, thus increasing the congruity of the posterior meniscal arch and the lateral femoral condyle. There was a significant correlation between meniscofemoral ligament tension and displacement of the posterior meniscal horn (r = 0.76, P < .0001).
Where both meniscofemoral ligaments were present, the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus was subject to a displacing force throughout the range of knee motion tested. The degree of displacement correlated with the magnitude of ligament tension, and its direction was anteromedial and superior.
The findings of this study provide further information on the role of the meniscofemoral ligaments at the human knee joint and may influence decisions regarding the management of ligamentous or lateral meniscal injury.

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