The transverse genicular ligament: Anatomical study and review of the literature

R. Shane Tubbs, Jennifer Michelson, Marios Loukas, Mohammadali M. Shoja, Mohammad R. Ardalan, E. George Salter, W. Jerry Oakes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


There is scant information in the literature regarding the transverse genicular ligament. In order to elucidate further the anatomy and controversial function of this structure, we dissected 28 cadavers. This ligament was identified in 55% of knee joints. Morphometrically, we found a mean length and width of this ligament of 35.4 and 2.5 mm, respectively. Two (3.7%) specimens were found to have a duplicated ligament. The mean distance between the anterior attachment site of the anterior cruciate ligament onto the tibia to the transverse genicular ligament was 2.5 mm and the mean distance to this ligament to a midpoint of the tibial tuberosity was 40.5 mm The transverse genicular ligament was found to be slightly taut in extension and lax in flexion of the knee joint. Lateral and medial forces applied manually to the knee had no effect on this ligament. No tension was noted of the transverse genicular ligament with rotation of the knee. With transection of the ligament, no discernable difference in the integrity of the knee joint was observed. The mean tensile strength of this ligament was 67 N. Based on our study, the transverse genicular ligament plays a minimal part in the proper function of the knee joint. Moreover, with only approximately one-half of the knees in our study harboring this structure, one would expect a significant portion of the population to exhibit signs of biomechanical dysfunction of the knee joint which is not the case. This structure may represent a vestigal/insular part of the mesenchyme forming the menisci.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-9
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical and Radiologic Anatomy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anatomy
  • Knee
  • Menisci
  • Morphometry
  • Transverse genicular ligament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Surgery
  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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