Posterior cruciate ligament injury

posterior cruciate ligament

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is found in the middle of the knee and is one of four Important ligaments that maintain the stability of the joint. The function of this ligament is to limit the posterior translation of the tibia on the femur .

torn PCLPCL injuries are uncommon and represent about 5% to 20% of all ligamentous injuries to the knee. Isolated PCL tear is rare and is accompanied with other ligament injuries.

Mechanism of injury is usually a fall onto the flexed knee or high-energy trauma, such as motor vehicle accidents.




1-pain and swelling at the back of the knee (at the popliteal fossa).

2- Minimal symptomatic instability, usually when going down stairs.




  1. By Clinical Examination the doctor will test the stability of the knee.
  2. By imaging: an MRI will show PCL injury and will also show associated lesions such as meniscal tears and other ligamentous injury.

MRI showing ruptured PCL



1-conservative treatment:
Partial tears and Isolated complete PCL injuries are often treated nonoperatively by : 

  • Medication: analgesics & anti-edematous drugs
  • Physical Therapy: A specific PCL-insufficiency knee program is initiated.

2-surgical treatment:

  • The PCL can be repaired (for avulsions injuries) or reconstructed using tendon graft.
  • Indications of surgical treatment include:

If there is another ligamentous injury
If there is a meniscial tear that requires surgical intervention
If the patient wants to return to practice a violent sport
If there is recurrent kee instability

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