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Posterior cruciate ligament

Recommended video: Knee joint [29:49]
Sagittal view of the knee joint showing the patellofemoral and tibiofemoral joints.

The cruciate ligaments, which are named according to their crisscross arrangement, are stabilizing ligaments of the knee. They attach the tibia to the femur and are located inside the joint capsule of the joint but outside the synovial cavity.

The posterior cruciate ligament, as its name suggests, is located posterior to the anterior cruciate ligament and is thicker and stronger than its anterior counterpart. This robust ligament attaches to the posterior intercondylar area of the tibia and extends anteromedially and proximally to attach on to the lateral surface of the medial femoral condyle.

The posterior cruciate ligament prevents anterior displacement of the femur on the tibia and posterior displacement of the tibia on the femur. It functions to limit anterior rolling and displacement of the femoral condyle during extension and helps to prevent hyperflexion of the knee joint. 

When the knee is in a weight-bearing flexed position, for example, when walking down a hill, the posterior cruciate ligament becomes the main stabilizer for the femur.

Terminology English: Posterior cruciate ligament
Latin: Ligamentum cruciatum posterius
Attachments Femur: Lateral surface of medial femoral condyle
Tibia: Posterior intercondylar area
Function Prevents anterior displacement of the femur on tibia, prevents posterior displacement of the tibia on femur, limits anterior rolling of femur on tibial plateau, prevents hyperflexion of knee joint. 

Take a closer look at the ligaments of the knee joint using the study unit below. 

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