Anterior and Posterior Cruciate Ligament Anatomy

These MRI images are from a collegiate American football player. The best way to understand these images is to imagine viewing the knee from the side and then taking a thin slice out of the middle of the knee (referred to as the sagittal plane). The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is easily viewed as a dark wavy line running from the femur to the tibia.
The next image shows a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). It is the wavy white structure, and should appear with the same signal intensity (i.e.,dark) as the PCL. Operative findings confirmed a complete tear of the ACL, which was then repaired.