The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is one of the four major ligaments in the knee joint. It connects the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia) and helps to stabilise the knee. Injuries to the PCL often require a powerful force, and a common cause is a bent knee hitting the dashboard in a car accident. It can also occur in sporting activities if an athlete falls forward and lands hard on a bent knee, which is common in soccer, football, basketball, and rugby.
Diagram illustrating the major ligaments in the knee joint.
Symptoms of posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injuries
- Pain and swelling in the knee joint.
- Difficulty bearing weight on the affected leg.
- A feeling of instability or looseness in the knee joint.
- Limited range of motion in the knee joint.
- Popping or snapping sounds at the time of the injury.
Diagnosis of posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injuries
PCL injuries are typically diagnosed through a physical examination, which may involve testing the range of motion in the knee joint and assessing for instability. Imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions that could be causing the symptoms.
Management of posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injuries
Treatment for PCL injuries typically involves rest and conservative measures such as ice, pain relievers, and physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint and improve flexibility. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to repair or reconstruct the damaged ligament. Rehabilitation exercises and physical therapy may be necessary after surgery to help restore strength and mobility to the knee joint.
PCL injuries can cause significant pain, swelling, and instability in the knee joint. Anyone experiencing knee pain or discomfort should seek medical review to determine the underlying cause and the appropriate treatment plan. If you have any questions or concerns in regard to the above condition, please contact us and book an appointment to discuss these further.
If you have any questions or concerns in regard to the above condition, please contact us and book an appointment to discuss these further.