The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a band of dense connective tissue which courses from the femur to the tibia. The ACL is a key structure in the knee joint, as it resists anterior tibial translation and rotational loads.
The ACL provides approximately 85% of total restraining force of anterior translation. It also prevents excessive tibial medial and lateral rotation, as well as varus and valgus stresses.
Basically, the ACL helps maintain optimal knee kinematics.
The ACL is critical for stability of the knee joint. Its function is essential for many sports and specific activities such as changing direction, weaving, pivoting, or kicking. Despite being a largely preventable sporting injury that typically leads to lifelong repercussions, including osteoarthritis, Australia has the highest reported rates of ACL injury and reconstruction in the world.
Over the past 15 years, the rate of reconstruction in Australians under 25 years of age has risen more than 70%, with the greatest increase among children under 14, according to research published in the Medical Journal of Australia.