Posterior Cruciate Ligament injury ‘PCL’

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INJURY TITLE

Posterior Cruciate Ligament injury ‘PCL’

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

Commonly injured from a direct blow to the shin or when the leg is straightened for far too quickly.  Not as common and ACL injuries because the PCL is a stronger ligament.

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

The PCL is the main structure that stops the tibia (shin bone) sliding backwards on the femur (thigh bone).  If this ligament gets injured then the knee is not as stable as it was previously.  When there is a force taking the shin bone backwards there is no protective structure to stop it.  When the leg is straight, it is herd to notice this problem because other muscular supports are in place.  However, with the leg bent to 90 degrees, you can see a laxity as the shin bone drops backwards on the thigh bone.

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Swelling is minimal
  • Pain in the back of the knee, sometimes in the calf too.

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

  • Clinical examination isolate this ligament as the injured structure
  • X-Ray to rule out any bony involvement
  • Sometimes and MRI is needed to confirm the diagnosis

 

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

  • Comprehensive rehabilitation
  • If there is significant instability into rotation, then surgical intervention may be sought.
  • Most injuries to the structure are managed conservatively with a sound functional outcome.

 

Exercise Videos: i.e.

  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Pec stretch
  • etc

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X

MEDIC     X

PODIATRY     

Put an ‘X’ next to each health professional that most commonly deals with this injury.

i.e. tennis elbow would be Physio and Medic as injections are common, whereas for muscular LBP it would be Physio and not Medic as they would just refer them to a Physio.

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