But wait, aren’t we firmly in the grip of the 21st century? I do believe so… One might think that we’d’ve gotten our own anatomy down pat. I guess not! Ha! Sigh.
This is especially intriguing since this new part is a ligament in the knee. There are, after all, quite a lot of knee surgeries on the books.
Although having said that, it would appear that a French fellow got suspicious back in 1879 and put forth the idea that this ligament existed. Didn’t go on to prove it, though.
S1 – What’s that gross-looking thing in the picture up there? Oh, just a newly discovered part of the human body, no big deal. Two surgeons at University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium have found and named a new ligament in the knee, which they dubbed the anterolateral ligament, or ALL.
S2 – Despite successful ACL repair surgery and rehabilitation, some patients with ACL-repaired knees continue to experience so-called ‘pivot shift’, or episodes where the knee ‘gives way’ during activity. For the last four years, orthopaedic surgeons Dr Steven Claes and Professor Dr Johan Bellemans have been conducting research into serious ACL injuries in an effort to find out why. Their starting point: an 1879 article by a French surgeon that postulated the existence of an additional ligament located on the anterior of the human knee.
As has been noted here by Rewey in a forum thread about this find, the part seems to have been illustrated in textbooks for a good long while now. It‘s just been simply falsely classed as being a part of a ligament it appears to connect to. No one noticed that it doesn’t really do that. Except that French guy. Now that is odd.
In Rewey’s reply he says:
… when I look at this image below, it refers to the lateral collateral ligaments - as in plural. It seems to show the LCL as reaching down in two separate strands, hence why maybe it’s referred to in plural form. This seems like exactly what is shown as the ‘new’ tendon in the photos in the OP.
In the pic below, one strand of the LCL joins to the outer top edge of the tibia, and one to the outer top edge of the fibula. I think the photo in the OP shows the same thing – it’s just that the tibia and fibula in the photo are still joined by tissue and cartilage, and therefore maybe it isn’t as clear?
I think this seems less a matter of discovering a NEW ligament, and more along the lines of realising that it performs a slightly different function to what we assumed, and therefore have given it another name?