There has been substantial clinical proof in the past few years that the cruciate ligaments play a role secondary to that of the collateral ligaments in preservation of the stability and function of the knee joint. As I have noted in a previous communication,1 several observers have shown that a torn anterior cruciate ligament may be disregarded or a fractured tibial spine and anterior cruciate ligament excised without marked impairment of the integrity of the knee joint, provided the collateral ligaments are intact. This fact has led some authors (Bennett,2 Milch3) to undertake successfully the repair of the collateral ligaments alone, disregarding the associated tears of the cruciate ligament.
This concept, at variance with the teachings of most anatomists, was corroborated anatomically by me4 after a study of the knee joints of human cadavers at the Daniel Baugh Institute of Anatomy in Philadelphia. The collateral ligaments