The cruciate ligaments consist of a highly organised collagen matrix which accounts for approximately three fourths of their dry weight. The majority of the collagen is type 1 (same as in bone) (90%) and the remainder is type 3 (10%). Water constitutes 60% of the net weight under physiological conditions.
The cruciate ligaments are named based on their attachments on the tibia and their relationships to the intercondylar eminence of the proximal tibia. They are essential to the function of the knee joint. The cruciate ligaments act to stabilise the knee joint and prevent antero-posterior displacement of the tibia and the femur. They also contain numerous sensory endings implying an important role in proprioceptive function. These ligaments are intra-articular but because they are covered by synovium they are considered extra-synovial. They receive their blood supply from branches of the middle genicular and both inferior genicular arteries.
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