New Human Body Part Discovered by Surgeons

Ever since the beginning, the human body has always been fascinating to scientists, what with its complex systems and complicated organs that work together for a person’s well-being.

Thus, we have long determined most human body parts and their functions. We have long known many of the processes organs in the body, the role they take and how they work. Of course, there is still a lot to understand about the human body yet it seems that we have identified all the human body parts.

The last time someone discovered a new body part was in June 2013 when a microscopic layer in the human cornea was found. But a team of surgeons at University Hospitals Leuven have recently announced a new discovery: there is a previously unknown human body part “hiding” in the knee.

anterolateral ligament
Photo credit: University Hospitals Leuven/IFL Science

Now known as the “anterolateral ligament” (ALL), this hidden body part is a ligament in the knee that its discoverers, Dr. Claes and Dr. Bellemans, believe to be responsible for a common problem experienced during the rehabilitation for injuries of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which is a rather common injury experienced in sports activities.

It appears that a tear in the ALL affects the ACL, causing pivot shift.

By discovering this new body part and finding its role in affecting ACL rehabilitation, it is believed that injured patients will now experience better treatment options so they can heal faster.

Dr. Claes and Dr. Bellemans would not have found the ALL if they had not come across a paper written as far back as 1879 which theorized that there was still an unknown ligament in the knee. Extensive research allowed the two to discover the existence of this phantom ligament and understand its function for improved physical therapy methods to treat ACL injuries in the future.

Source: IFL Science

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