New Body Part Discovered By Surgeons In Belgium


kneeThought we knew every part of the human body? Think again.

Surgeons in Belgium recently discovered a new ligament in the human knee. Publishing their research in the peer-reviewed Journal of Anatomy, the knee specialists provided the first anatomical description of the fibrous tissue, called the anterolateral ligament, or ALL, for short.

Though French surgeon Paul Segond proposed the existence of an additional ligament in the human knee as early as 1879, the structure evaded classification for many years.

Working from the French surgeon’s notion, the team, led by the University of Leuven’s Dr. Steven Claes, dissected cadaver knees in search of the “pearly, fibrous band” Segond described. What they found was a “well-defined ligamentous structure” that connects the femur (thighbone) with the anterolateral tibia (shinbone) in 40 of the 41 human knees they dissected, the authors wrote in the study.

While the anatomical description of the anterolateral ligament is significant since it finally solidifies the existence of the structure, the team also uncovered another, perhaps more important, feature of the tissue. It appears the ligament may play a pivotal role among patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears — the bane of athletes in basketball, skiing, and other sports that require lots of pivoting movements.

As part of the research, the team hypothesized that the anterolateral ligament affects the pivot shift of the knee. This phenomenon, which causes knees to give out even after a successful ACL repair, may be brought on by an injury to the anterolateral ligament, the researchers said in a written statement.

Though more research will be needed to confirm the researchers’ hypothesis, the proposed link between the anterolateral ligament and the pivot shift may hold some hope for future ACL treatments.


{ Newscenter}


  1. This is fantastic! When I taught 6th grade Hebrew in a BY school (years ago!) my students (who were taught general studies by non-Jewish/frum teachers) were all frustrated because their teacher taught them about the bones in the body and the number was not 248 (as in the famous chazal). Here is proof that scientists do not know everything and chazal and the Torah Hakedosha are always right!!

  2. Commenter #3

    We asked Rav Aharon Soleveitchik about chazal and medical advice. He said that we have to take from this that we should study our world and use the best medical advice we can follow.

    Belittling practical science and medicine easily leads to a dangerous place. Tachlis, there are times we see proven reality in front of our eyes that may contradict chazal. Such a lice being spontaneously generated versus born from tiny eggs. Please consult your Rav when discussing this area.