Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury
- Non-operative Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury Treatment
- Non-operative Posterior Tibial Tendonitis Treatment
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Reconstruction
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The four ligaments that stabilize the knee are:
- The anterior cruciate
- The posterior cruciate(PCL)
- the lateral ligaments
- medial collateral ligaments.
The PCL has been described as one of the main stabilizers of the knee. It is broader and stronger than the ACL. It connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone). Its function is to prevent the posterior translation of the tibia relative to the femur.
It has been reported that there is only a 2% incidence of isolated PCL tears. PCL injury commonly occurs in sports such as football, soccer, basketball, and skiing. A forceful hyperextention of the knee or a direct blow just below the knee cap will disrupt the PCL. For example, the football player who is tackled with a direct hit to the knee will hyperextend the limb and rupture the PCL. The basketball player who lands on the court directly on a bent knee will tear his PCL. A through evaluation by a sports medicine specialist is needed to assess the extent of the ligament injury and the appropriate treatment options. Both examples frequently lead to knee pain which often requires knee surgery.
The physical examination of the knee by a sports medicine specialist will determine the ligamentus structures involved. Plain x-rays will be taken to ensure that no fracture has occurred. An MRI will be ordered to identify the extent of the ligamentus and cartilaginous injuries. There is usually swelling as well as significant tenderness to palpation of the back of the knee. The posterior draw test done with the knee at 90 degrees of flexion, will demonstrate a posterior shift of the tibia relative to the femur.