Introduction

The two coronary ligaments of the knee (also known as meniscotibial ligaments) are part of the fibrous capsule of the knee joint capsule, connecting the inferior edges of the fibrocartilaginous menisci to the periphery of the tibial plateaus. These ligaments – referred to as the medial coronary ligament and the lateral coronary ligament – are continuous with the joint capsule and the menisci.

Attachments

The coronary ligaments function to connect parts of the outside, inferior edges of the medial and lateral menisci to the joint capsule of the knee. The medial meniscus also has firm attachments laterally to the intercondylar area of the tibia and medially to the tibial collateral ligament. The lateral meniscus has firm attachments medially to the intercondylar area via the ends of the meniscus, and posteromedially via the posterior meniscofemoral ligament, which attaches the posterior limb of the meniscus to the posterior cruciate ligament and medial femoral condyle. The lateral meniscus is not directly connected to the fibular collateral ligament, and is thus more movable than the medial meniscus.

Function

These ligaments are responsible for limiting rotation of the knee as well as for stabilizing the medial and lateral menisci. While they anchor the menisci to the tibia, they do allow for a controlled amount of anterior and posterior translation.

Disability if injured

The patient will typically have pain that is often sharp with sudden movements and may or may not be accompanied by swelling depending on the degree of the injury. In most cases, the patient can still ambulate; flexion and extension range of motion remain full, with discomfort at end range. A higher-grade injury may result in effusion that could restrict full end ranges.