Function of the Anterior Intermeniscal Ligament
The function and importance of the anterior intermeniscal ligament (AIML) of the knee are not fully known. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the biomechanical and sensorimotor function of the AIML. Computational analysis was used to assess AIML and tibiomeniscofemoral biomechanics under combined translational and rotational loading applied during dynamic knee flexion-extension. Histologic and immunohistochemical examination was used to identify and characterize neural elements in the tissue. The computational models were created from anatomy and passive motion of two female subjects and histologic examinations were conducted on AIMLs retrieved from 10 fresh-frozen cadaveric knees. It was found that AIML strain increased with compressive knee loading and that external rotation of the tibia unloads the AIML, suppressing the relationship between AIML strain and compressive knee loads. Extensive neural elements were located throughout the AIML tissue and these elements were distributed across the three AIML anatomical types. The AIMLs have a beneficial influence on knee biomechanics with decreased meniscal load sharing with AIML loss. The AIML plays a significant biomechanical and neurologic role in the sensorimotor functions of the knee. The major role for the AIML may primarily involve its neurologic function.