PCL Posterior Cruciate Ligament

PCL Posterior Cruciate Ligament

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PCL Posterior Cruciate Ligament

Knee

What is PCL?

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is located at the back of the knee. The PCL helps to stabilize the knee joint by preventing backward movement of the tibia (shinbone) on the femur (thighbone). It also helps to control knee hyperextension, which is when the knee bends backward beyond its normal range.

The PCL works in conjunction with the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Together these two ligaments hold the tibia in place relative to the femur so that it does not slide forward or backward. If these two ligaments are injured or torn, serious problems can develop such as instability and an increased risk of arthritis.

What’s the purpose of PCL?

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) helps stabilize and support the knee joint. It works with two other ligaments in the knee, called MCL and LCL.

The PCL is one of four major ligaments in the knee joint, along with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and medial collateral ligament (MCL). These four ligaments work together to provide stability for your knee joint and prevent it from moving out of place.

What does the PCL do?

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) prevents movement of your shin bone backward relative to your thigh bone. This helps keep pressure off the cartilage surfaces in your knee joint. Without this stability, you could easily injure yourself when twisting or pivoting on your foot.

What are the Types of PCL injuries?

There are three types of PCL injuries:

A complete tear

A partial tear

An avulsion fracture

  • A complete tear in which all fibers of the ligament are damaged. This is a more severe injury than a partial tear, which only damages some fibers. In addition, a complete tear can be difficult to diagnose because there may be no visible signs such as swelling or bruising on X-ray imaging.
  • A partial tear in which only some fibers are damaged. Partial tears often heal on their own after rest from activity for several weeks. However, athletes who return too soon may develop chronic problems such as instability or arthritis due to long-term damage from repeated microtrauma over time.
  • An avulsion fracture occurs when one or more small fragments break off from an otherwise intact ligament due to trauma such as landing awkwardly from a jump onto one foot.”

What are the causes of PCL injuries?

The causes of PCL injuries are many, but they generally fall into two categories: a traumatic event that occurs during sports or other physical activity, or degeneration due to repetitive stress over time.

Traumatic injuries can be caused by direct blows to the knee or even falling onto an outstretched leg. This can cause tearing of either one or both PCLs.

Degeneration is usually due to repetitive stress over time from activities like running or jumping.

There are many other causes of PCL injuries, including:

  • Strain
  • Pulling or stretching the ligament beyond its limits
  • Injury to the knee joint
  • A direct blow to the back of your knee or lower thigh
  • A sudden change in direction while running or jumping
  • Jumping from a height with poor landing mechanics

What are the symptoms of PCL injuries?

If you have a PCL injury, you will likely experience pain in your knee. You may also notice swelling and stiffness in your leg. The symptoms of a PCL injury usually begin suddenly, with an event that causes your knee to twist or bend awkwardly.

Other symptoms include:

  • Pain when you stand up from sitting or lying down
  • Pain when you kneel down or squat
  • Pain when you walk on stairs or go up hills
  • Swelling around your knee area
  • Pain on the side of the knee
  • Instability when walking or running
  • A feeling that the knee is giving out

How to prevent PCL injuries from getting worse?

Here are some ways you can prevent PCL injuries:

  • Make sure your shoes are comfortable and keep them dry at all times. Wet feet can lead to slipping and sliding which can cause sprains or strains.
  • Do not overwork yourself before or during practice or games.
  • Be sure that you warm up before exercise.
  • Stretch before exercise.
  • If you feel pain while exercising, stop immediately and consult with a doctor.
  • Rest for at least 48 hours after suffering from a PCL injury.

Recommended Exercise

Knee

What is the treatment for PCL injuries?

There are several ways to treat PCL injuries:

Treatment for a torn PCL depends on how severe it is. Mild cases may be treated with rest and ice packs, while more severe cases often require surgery to repair or replace the ligament.

Physical therapy: A physical therapist works with patients who have suffered a PCL injury to help them regain strength in their leg muscles and regain flexibility in their joints. Most patients will need to do exercises at home as well as attend therapy sessions with their therapist.

Surgery: If physical therapy does not improve your symptoms after six weeks, surgery may be necessary to repair your PCL completely or partially.

Explanation of Recommended Orthotic Device

Knee

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