What to Expect with a Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) tears are a common knee injury, especially among athletes. The PCL is a key stabilizing ligament in the knee, and when it is damaged, it can lead to pain, swelling, and instability.
If you think you may have suffered a PCL tear, read on to learn more about the signs and symptoms of this injury, as well as what to expect with treatment.
What are the symptoms?
PCL injuries are relatively uncommon, but when they do occur, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms so you can get proper treatment. The PCL is a ligament that connects the thighbone to the shinbone, and it helps to stabilize the knee joint.
Common symptoms of a PCL injury include:
- pain, swelling, and tenderness around the knee
- decreased range of motion in the knee
- knee instability
- feeling like the knee is giving out
If you think you may have a PCL injury, it’s important to see a doctor so they can properly diagnose and treat the condition.
How to diagnose this injury?
PCL injuries are one of the most difficult injuries to diagnose. This is because the PCL is located deep within the knee joint and is surrounded by other structures, making it difficult to get a clear view of the injury.
There are several imaging tests that can be used to diagnose a PCL injury, including X-rays, MRI, and CT scans. However, the most accurate way to diagnose a PCL injury is through a physical examination by a trained orthopaedic surgeon.
What is rehabilitation like?
Rehabilitation following a PCL injury is crucial in order to regain full function of the knee. PCL injuries can range from a partial tear to a complete rupture, and treatment will vary depending on the severity of the injury.
Initial phase of rehabilitation, the focus is on reducing pain and swelling. This can be accomplished with the use of ice, compression, and elevation. Once the swelling has gone down, the next phase of rehabilitation will begin. The goals of this phase are to regain range of motion and to begin rebuilding the strength of the muscles surrounding the knee. This will be done through a variety of exercises, both in the physical therapy clinic and at home.