Also known as a hyperextended knee, a PCL injury is a partial or complete tearing or stretching of any part of the posterior cruciate ligament. The PCL is the strongest ligament in the knee which runs along the back of the knee joint from the bottom of the thighbone or femur to the top of the lower leg bone.
The primary cause of PCL injury is severe knee trauma. This also affects other knee ligaments. Hyperextension of the knee is one factor that can lead to PCL injury. This might happen during physical activities like jumping.
Additionally, a blow to the knee while it is flexed, or bent, can cause PCL injury. This includes a hard landing after falling, playing sports, or a car accident. Any trauma to the knee no matter how small it is can cause a knee ligament injury.
During the diagnosis of a PCL injury, the doctor may perform a variety of tests including the following:
Doctors treat PCL injuries depending on the severity of the injury and the patient’s lifestyle. Treatment options for minor PCL injuries may include:
Treatment options for more severe situations can include:
Preventive actions that can be used to reduce the possibility of knee ligament damage include:
For minor injuries, ligaments may heal with conservative treatment. The ligament may, however, not regain its previous stability if it was stretched.
For patients with minor injuries who don’t go through surgery, the joint would likely stay unstable and be vulnerable to further damage.
For patients who undergo surgery, the prognosis will depend on the success of the surgery and the associated injuries to the knee.