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Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injuries

What are Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injuries?

The Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) is one of the 4 main ligaments that hold your knee together.

It is found at the back of your knee.

 

How is it Injured?

The PCL is commonly injured by a large force hitting the front of the knee while it is bent:

Dashboard injury in a car crash

Fall onto front of knee while running

The knee swells a lot within a few hours.

As the swelling goes then bruising appears at the back of the knee.

 

Investigations?

You will usually have an X-ray of your knee.

Mr Lavender will examine your knee, discuss how you injured it and what problems it is giving you. He may then request a MRI scan (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan).

 

Options?

Mr Lavender will discuss the options with you at your consultation, as every patient has unique circumstances and individual needs.

Physiotherapy will be required. In the first instance this is to reduce the swelling and improve the range of movement in the knee. Then it is used to build up the muscles around the knee.

A brace may be used initially to hold the Tibia (Shin Bone) in the right place. This gives the ligament the best chance of healing on its own.

Surgery to make you a new ligament is less common, but may be required if you have damaged other structures around the knee.

Due to the nature of the injury you have sustained, the knee is more at risk of arthritis when you are older. This is because you have had such a large injury to your knee.

 

Information Sheet

For more information or to gain a better understanding of the condition, download the free PDF below:

To download the Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries information sheet, right click on the PDF and choose 'Save Link As...'

Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries Information Sheet


Additional Resources

Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries - Your Orthopaedic Connection - AAOS

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