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PCL ligaments

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What Causes a Torn PCL?

Ligament damage to the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is less common than a torn ACL, but no less painful. A torn PCL can result from sports injury, such as a fall with a hyperextended knee, or from a blow to the knee during a car accident.

The PCL is the strongest ligament in the knee, running along the back of the knee between the thigh bone and shin bone. It wo rks to keep your knee stable and prevent the joint from bending backward. Typically, a very violent force is required to tear the PCL, but it can be injured by simply twisting the knee or making a sudden misstep.

Common symptoms of PCL injury may include:

  • Knee pain
  • Swelling
  • Instability
  • Inability to bend the knee

Orthopedic knee surgeons at Baylor Scott & White Orthopedic and Spine Hospital – Arlington treat many ligament injuries such as PCL tears, enabling them to provide expert assessment and diagnosis for your knee pain. They may test the flexibility of the knee joint and use diagnostic imaging like MRI to show the condition of soft tissue inside the knee.

PCL Tears May Require Reconstruction

Nonsurgical orthopedic treatments including cold packs, rest, compression, elevation, knee braces, and physical therapy can p rovide relief for those suffering from a strained PCL. For severe PCL tears and complex injuries, your orthopedic surgeon may suggest PCL reconstruction.

Knee arthroscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgery used to perform PCL reconstruction, replacing damaged ligament with healthy ligament from your own body (autograft) or from a donor (allograft). Ligament autografts may use tissue from quadriceps, hamstring, or patellar tendons.

As with most minimally invasive orthopedic surgery, advanced PCL reconstruction techniques offer several benefits:

  • Less pain after surgery
  • Reduced time in the hospital
  • Faster recovery

After surgery, a physical therapy program will be developed to return your PCL and overall knee joint to full strength and maximum range of motion. Recovery times vary for everyone with a torn PCL.

For a complete evaluation and diagnosis of knee pain due to a torn PCL, schedule an appointment with orthopedic knee specialists at Baylor Scott & White – Arlington by calling 855-41-ORTHO.