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Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four knee ligaments that connect the upper leg bone (femur) with the lower leg bone (tibia) by running crosswise inside the center of the knee joint. The ACL stabilizes knee movement in a forward and backward direction.

Specifically, the ACL prevents the tibia from sliding or twisting abnormally on the femur when the leg is straight or slightly bent. And the ACL prevents the knee from being stretched or straightened beyond its normal limits (hyperextended). It also supports other knee ligaments that keep the knee from bending sideways.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Freddie H. Fu, MD - Orthopedic Surgery
Current as of April 5, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 05, 2012
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