Table of Contents
ISRN Anatomy
Volume 2014, Article ID 719851, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/719851
Research Article

Neural Structures within Human Meniscofemoral Ligaments: A Cadaveric Study

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
2Musculoskeletal Surgery Group, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, Charing Cross Hospital, London W6 8RF, UK
3Imperial College NHS Trust, London W2 1NY, UK
4Pathology Department, Charing Cross Hospital, London W6 8RF, UK
5Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK

Received 28 November 2013; Accepted 31 December 2013; Published 10 March 2014

Academic Editors: C. Kopuz and J. A. Vega

Copyright © 2014 Chinmay M. Gupte et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Aim. To investigate the existence of neural structures within the meniscofemoral ligaments (MFLs) of the human knee. Methods. The MFLs from 8 human cadaveric knees were harvested. 5 μm sections were H&E-stained and examined under light microscopy. The harvested ligaments were then stained using an S100 monoclonal antibody utilising the ABC technique to detect neural components. Further examination was performed on 60–80 nm sections under electron microscopy. Results. Of the 8 knees, 6 were suitable for examination. From these both MFLs existed in 3, only anterior MFLs were present in 2, and an isolated posterior MFL existed in 1. Out of the 9 MFLs, 4 demonstrated neural structures on light and electron microscopy and this was confirmed with S100 staining. The ultrastructure of these neural components was morphologically similar to mechanoreceptors. Conclusion. Neural structures are present in MFLs near to their meniscal attachments. It is likely that the meniscofemoral ligaments contribute not only as passive secondary restraints to posterior draw but more importantly to proprioception and may therefore play an active role in providing a neurosensory feedback loop. This may be particularly important when the primary restraint has reduced function as in the posterior cruciate ligament—deficient human knee.