Lateral patellar ligament
Being the biggest and most complicated joint in the body, the knee joint has five major constituents (ligaments), reinforcing its stability. Among them is the patellar ligament, the tendon largely responsible for knee extension. The lateral patellar ligament, along with its medial counterpart, is a part of the patellar ligament. These two ligaments are very soft and tender. They belong to the external ligaments because they run outside the capsule of the kneecap, or patella, which has three areas: base, apex, and posterior surface. The patellar ligament is situated in the apex area. The lateral patellar ligament, together with the cranial border of tibia and the third trochanter of femur, is where the tensor fasciae latae muscle is inserted. This muscle is among those of the equine pelvic limb and controls hip flexion, limb advancement, stifle extension, and facial lata tension. The lateral patellar ligament is also where the vastus lateralis muscle is inserted. This muscle is one of the muscles in the anterior and medial thigh, the main function of which is to extend the leg.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Lateral patellar ligament