The four ligaments that provide stability and flexibility to the knee joint are some of the most common culprits for knee-related injuries. Everyone knows about that notorious popping sound made by the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). And you’ve probably heard of someone who has has sustained an injury to their medial collateral ligament (MCL). Less known, but equally as important to the healthy functioning of the knee joint, is the posterior cruciate ligament, or PCL.
This tough, fibrous band is actually broader and stronger than the ACL and it stretches across the knee to connect the tibia and femur. The PCL usually becomes injured in situations when the lower, front of the knee is hit and the joint is hyperextended enough to partially or fully tear the ligament. These injuries are classified according to strain levels and PCL strain treatment can vary from non-operative solutions to a surgical approach.
The Likelihood of Surgery
Some posterior cruciate ligament strains occur as isolated injuries. While this number is small (about 2% of reported cases), it is possible in these cases to address a slight strain without having to operate. However, most PCL injuries occur in conjunction with injury to other ligaments or cartilage in the knee joint, which is why effective PCL strain treatment options are sometimes limited to a surgical approach.
PCL Strain Treatment: Reconstructive Surgery
Like the ACL, a posterior cruciate ligament tear cannot be repaired. Rather, it must he reconstructed through the use of a graft. If your physician is recommending this procedure, ask him or her about your options for taking the graft either from your own body or using a donor’s.
During the reconstructive surgery, tiny holes are drilled into the shin bone and the thigh bone. The new replacement ligament is arthroscopically threaded through and fastened in order to recreate the same functionality and stability provided by the original PCL.
If you’re currently researching your options for PCL strain treatment, you’re probably wondering about recovery times, potential risks and other important factors that play into the decision to undergo surgery. All of those questions and more can be answered by a knee specialist at Rothman Institute when you visit one of our conveniently located regional offices. Call 1-800-321-9999 today to set up an appointment.
There’s a reason Rothman Institute is known throughout the country as one of the top orthopedic programs. We invite you to come find out for yourself! In the mean time, check out our patient “ambassadors” for real stories of real people who are now enjoying the great results of effective surgical solutions from Rothman Institute.