The four main stabilising ligaments in the knee that connect the thighbone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia) are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL).
The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is the strongest ligament that runs along the back of the knee. It connects the thighbone (femur) to the top of the shin bone (tibia) and prevents the shin bone from moving too much and slipping behind the thighbone.
Injury to the posterior cruciate ligament occurs when there is direct force (trauma) to the front of the knee when the knee is bent, such as hitting the dashboard in a car accident or falling hard on a bent knee. The ligament may also be pulled or stretched in a twisting injury, which can happen if you land awkwardly after jumping.
However, PCL injuries are less common compared to ACL tears.
- Knee joint instability
- Knee joint pain
- Knee swelling and tenderness in the space behind the knee (popliteal fossa)
Your doctor would first question your general health and symptoms before conducting a thorough physical examination.
Diagnosis is made based on your reported symptoms, physical examination, and investigations.
In order to assess your knee function, your doctor ask you to move your knee in different directions. Imaging tests such as X-ray, MRI, and CT scan may also be done.
Treatment for PCL injuries include non-surgical and surgical options, depending on the extent of injury:
- R.I.C.E.: Rest, ice, compression with an ace bandage and elevation of the leg.
- Medications to reduce pain and swelling.
- Braces to support the knee.
- Crutches to reduce the weight on the knee.
- Physiotherapy to strengthen the supporting muscles and increase the range of motion.
- Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend surgery for ligament repair.
If you suspect you might have an PCL injury, get in touch with us to find out more about ourOrthopaedic Servicesat your nearest Gleneagles Hospital.
Gleneagles Hospital works with orthopaedic specialists to assist patients through diagnosis and treatment. The caring and multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals are available for consultation and to provide the best care.