The dependence of knee joint stability on the cruciate and collateral ligaments

Mariana E. Kersh, Heidi Lynn Ploeg, Marcus G. Pandy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In this review, the methods and outcomes of cadaveric experiments that have measured anterior-posterior translation, internal-external rotation, and varus-valgus rotation at discrete flexion angles are summarized. The contribution of the cruciate and collateral ligaments to joint stability was quantified by comparing changes in kinematics as a result of ligament resection. The prevailing trend in the literature indicates that ligaments are maximally engaged towards extension, and that passive joint motion increases through the flexion arc. When ligaments are compromised due to injury or pathology, an understanding of the passive path of motion is essential to effective treatment. We have highlighted the various studies that have combined experimental data with computational techniques to explore treatment alternatives and improve our understanding of joint stability in different populations. The use of computational methods will likely continue to become more important as in vivo methods are developed to evaluate joint motion, and provide an opportunity to improve the treatment of joint disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-54
Number of pages18
JournalMovement and Sports Sciences - Science et Motricite
Issue number90
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cadaveric experiments
  • computational models
  • knee biomechanics
  • ligament mechanics
  • passive motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • General
  • Physiology (medical)


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