The Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is an important stabiliser of the knee. It is not common to injure the PCL. It is the primary ligament preventing the femur off the tibia when the knee is bent.
What Causes a PCL Injury?
The PCL is usually injured from a direct blow to the tibia from the front when the knee is bent. This is often known as a dashboard injury. Hyper- extending the knee may also cause injury to the posterior cruciate ligament.
What are the symptoms of a PCL tear?
Pain and swelling in the knee and may be felt from the back of the knee. Symptoms may subside quickly. Patients may feel unstable.
Treatment for a PCL tear
Patients should expect to be able to return to normal sports/ activities. Studies show that patients with isolated PCL tears are usually able to return to the same level of sporting activity despite continued laxity of the knee after rehabilitation.
Physiotherapy aims to restore pain- free range of movement with capacity to return to normal activity through soft tissue releases, knee motor control and strengthening exercises, stretches and proprioceptive exercises.
Surgical reconstruction may be required if there was injury to other structures of the knee, if there was a bony avulsion of the ligament or if the patient did not make sufficient recovery from intensive Physiotherapy. Insufficient recovery is characterised by frequent episodes of giving way, ongoing knee pain and swelling and not being able to return to sports participation.
Your Physiotherapist will discuss your treatment goals and educate you about the condition, the rehabilitation process and preventative methods to reduce the risk of future injury.
To book an appointment with one of our skilled Physiotherapists please call (02) 8068 8832 or email us at [email protected].