Injury to a Posterior Cruciate Ligament ( PCL) disrupts knee joint stability as well as function and allows the tibia to sag backward. (Tears of the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) are less frequent compared to Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears.
Injury to the Posterior Cruciate Ligament usually occurs with either hyperextension injuries or with forceful posterior displacement of the flexed knee such as in motor vehicle accidents where knee is forced through the dashboard.
An isolated injury to the Posterior Cruciate Ligament is rare and thus may go unrecognized for a period of time.
This isolated Posterior Cruciate Ligament deficiency usually does not produce “functional instability”, however is associated with pain, aching with or without activity, and effusion (fluid in the knee) caused by articular cartilage damage.
Combined injuries of the knee which include injury or tear of the posterior cruciate ligament produces varieties of symptoms based on the degree and extent of the involvement of other ligaments and structures of the knee.
Physical examination by an expert may lead to the diagnosis of the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injury which may include observation of posterior sagging of the tibia with knee at least at 70 degrees of flexion. There other maneuvers where examiner can use in order to detect the insufficiency of the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL).
Radiographic studies specially stress views may be helpful.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the most helpful diagnostic tool in clinical diagnosis of the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injuries.
Diagnostic arthroscopy may also be needed at times to detect the subtle tears and injuries of this ligament.
Treatment the so called isolated Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injuries is mostly non-operative and include physical therapy, bracing and activity modification.
Combined injuries specially in acute situations mar require immediate surgical intervention.
Surgical approach to the repair and reconstruction of the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injuries has drastically changed in the last decade and we have been the pioneer in minimally invasive and arthroscopicicaaly assisted reconstruction of the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL).