The knee joint is partially stabilized by the interaction of multiple ligament structures. This study tested the interdependent functions of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL) by evaluating the effects of ACL deficiency on local MCL strain while simultaneously measuring joint kinematics under specific loading scenarios. A structural testing machine applied anterior translation and valgus rotation (limits and , respectively) to the tibia of ten human cadaveric knees with the ACL intact or severed. A three-dimensional motion analysis system measured joint kinematics and MCL tissue strain in 18 regions of the superficial MCL. ACL deficiency significantly increased MCL strains by 1.8% during anterior translation, bringing ligament fibers to strain levels characteristic of microtrauma. In contrast, ACL transection had no effect on MCL strains during valgus rotation (increase of only 0.1%). Therefore, isolated valgus rotation in the ACL-deficient knee was nondetrimental to the MCL. The ACL was also found to promote internal tibial rotation during anterior translation, which in turn decreased strains near the femoral insertion of the MCL. These data advance the basic structure-function understanding of the MCL, and may benefit the treatment of ACL injuries by improving the knowledge of ACL function and clarifying motions that are potentially harmful to secondary stabilizers.