A mnemonic for cruciate ligament arrangement

Posted: 2011-10-05

For remembering the orientation in which a cruciate ligament runs, I remember being taught the “crossed finger” mnemonic (PDF) in anatomy. A few months later I tried to remember it, but the mnemonic wasn’t much use because I couldn’t remember which finger went over which. Looking it up again today, it seems some people also use L.A.M.P.— Lateral = Anterior, Medial = Posterior. That’s alright, provided you remember enough to know that “Lateral” can only refer to the femoral attachment, but even then I’m not sure I’d remember the acronym. The ABL/PFM/PAMs ApPLes ones require too much mental gymnastics for me.

I’ve decided to use ACL = Anterior Cruciate Ligament = A Crossed Leg — when you cross a single leg, it takes the same path as the ACL inside it. (OK, so you could be crossing both legs under you, or doing yoga and touching your heel to your ASIS, or lying on your side, but that’s not what I think of first.) It doesn’t rely on knowing (or reveal) exactly where the ligaments attach to, but I think that’s fine. A quick FWSE shows nobody using it so perhaps it’s a first.