An injury to the Posterior Cruciate Ligament is one that affects a thick band of tissue found in the back of the knee connecting the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). Often associated with contact sports or a severe impact or strain to a flexed knee, it’s usually coupled with related knee injuries such as ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear.
Causes of PCL Injuries
PCL injuries can be caused by a hard hit to a bent knee, as would be the case while sitting in a car. It can also be caused by hard blow while the knee is flexed while walking, running, or jogging. A severe PCL injury may also cause part of an adjacent bone to break. Osteoarthritis sometimes develops in the knee where a PCL injury occurs.
A device called an arthrometer may be used to determine ligament tightness. Image testing will confirm any damage to the ligament and the extent of the damage. Treatment usually involves the PRICE method:
The posterior cruciate ligament is important because it prevents the knee from moving too far backwards. Injury can make it difficult to maintain stability. Due to the location of this ligament, damage is often less severe than an ACL tear or strain and oftentimes heals on its own with little or no significant treatment other than temporary modification of activities.