Posterior Cruciate Ligament FAQs

Where is the posterior cruciate ligament located?

Posterior cruciate ligament is located inside the knee and it attaches the lower end of femur to the upper end of tibia. It courses from the top and in the front to lower down on the back side of the upper end of tibia. It is present behind the anterior cruciate ligament.

What the symptoms of posterior cruciate ligament injury?

Posterior cruciate ligament injury usually happens due to fall or accident. These patients usually present with pain and swelling of the knee and may have instability. They may also complain of hearing a pop at the time of injury.

Can a torn PCL heal on its own?

The patients who have partial tearing of the PCL may heal by themselves. These patients are usually treated with brace and physical therapy and are re-evaluated to look for optimal healing of the PCL. If the tearing of the PCL is high grade or complete, then these patients may need reconstruction or repair of the PCL.

What is the surgery for PCL injury?

The patients who have high grade tearing or complete tear of the PCL may need repair or reconstruction of the PCL. In cases of repair, the PCL is fixed back to the bone with use of sutures and anchors. In case the patient needs reconstruction, then the PCL is reconstructed using tendons either from the patient’s body or from cadaveric origin to reconstruct the PCL using sutures and anchors or buttons.

How long does it take to recover from a torn PCL?

The patients who have partial tearing of the PCL may take two to four months of physical therapy and rehabilitation to recover completely from the PCL injury. The patients who have undergone surgery for the torn PCL may take 6 to 12 months to completely recover and get back to the preinjury status of activity or sportsmanship.

What is the function of posterior cruciate ligament?

The posterior cruciate ligament provides stability to the knee joint. It works in concordance with other ligaments of the knee, including the anterior cruciate ligament, the medial collateral ligament, lateral collateral ligament and the capsule to keep the knee stable during daily activities as well as sports.

Do all PCL tears require surgery?

Low grade PCL tears can be treated conservatively with the use of brace and physical therapy. Patients with high grade PCL tear or complete tearing of the PCL may require surgery in the form of repair or reconstruction of the ligament.