Korean J Sports Med.  2012 Dec;30(2):130-136. 10.5763/kjsm.2012.30.2.130.

The Histologic Mapping of Sensory Innervation in the Human Anterior Cruciate Ligament

  • 1Department of Nursing School, Chodang University, Muan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Korea. cch@wonkwang.ac.kr
  • 3Institute of Wonkwang Medical Science, Iksan, Korea.


Recently, rising curiosity on remnant preservation technique of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, there is much interested in being and distribution of the mechanoreceptor of ACL. So, we performed histologic analyzing and mapping of sensory nerve fiber of the human ACL in this study. Total of 20 anterior cruciate ligaments were obtained from total knee replacement. Each ACL samples was divided into seven specimens; tibial insertion site, mid transitional site, femoral insertion site, and in between the sites, and total of 140 tissue samples were stained with hematoxylin-eosin and immunohistochemical, and observed with light microscope. Five hundred thirty-four fine neuroparticle structures, Ruffini corpuscles, and free nerve endings were observed in 20 ACL samples. The mean of fibers observed were 1.88, 1.71, 1.15, 1.08, 1.15, 1.55, and 1.82, respectively from tibial insertional site to femoral insertional site. With immunohistochemical stain, S-100 protein was strong positive at nerve cells, but was weak positive or negative at neurofilament. Mapping of sensory nerve distribution were done based on the results. We identified the mechanoreceptor of the human ACL using optical and immunohistochemical methods and mapped the histologic distribution of that.


Anterior cruciate ligament; Proprioception; Histological mapping; Mechanoreceptor
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