For athletes, a strong and supportive knee can be one of their most important assets on the field. When working properly, this joint allows them to move easily, running and jumping, kicking and turning their way to victory. The stability of the knee is largely dependent upon four ligaments which are tough, fibrous bands that stretch around the knee and keep it in place. However, in cases of significant impact or overstretching, these ligaments can be injured or even torn. If you, or athletes you know, have injured the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), it may be time to seek PCL tear treatment from Rothman Institute.
The posterior cruciate ligament is most often injured by either a direct hit to the knee or by a hyperextension of the limb and joint. After the injury, the athlete will typically experience knee pain and swelling. If this occurs, it is important for the patient to talk with a sports medicine specialist immediately to determine the extent of the injury and if he or she will need PCL tear treatment.
If indeed the athlete’s posterior cruciate ligament has been torn, there are a few options for PCL tear treatment. In mild cases, the athlete may be treated without needing surgery. Nonoperative treatment for a PCL injury includes initial bracing which both decreases pain and stabilizes the joint. Crutches and physical therapy may also be called for as a part of this treatment. These practices, used to control instability, swelling, and pain while eventually rebuilding strength in the leg and knee, can be very effective for milder injuries.
However, for a severe PCL tear treatment will most likely involve a surgical reconstruction. This procedure re-establishes the stability of the knee using a graft. This transplant can be from either the injured patient or from a donor. In either case, the graft is attached to the tibia and femur, using arthroscopic techniques to reestablish the posterior cruciate attachment. If an athlete does require this reconstructive operation, he or she can be expected to make and excellent recovery to athletics after a period of 10-12 months of resting and rebuilding the strength and function of the injured knee.
For athletes in the Philadelphia or Southern New Jersey area, the best PCL tear treatment is nearby at Rothman Institute. Our knee specialists are some of the most experienced in the area, ensuring that our patients receive the diagnosis, treatment, and physical therapy they need to return to the field as soon and safely as possible. For more information about our knee specialities, contact us today.