Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)

Background

The PCL is much less commonly injured than the ACL. It is often as a result of a collision or a forceful hyperflexion of the knee, as seen in high-energy contact sports like American Football or Rugby. 

Treatment

Unlike some other ligament injuries around the knee, PCL tears are most often treated without operative intervention. The tears are graded between 1 and 3 (by clinical examination and scans) and it is shown that only grade 3 tears of the PCL require surgery. This may be performed as day-case arthroscopic surgery to reconstruct the PCL using a graft.

Rehab

The rehab from a PCL tear or post-operatively after reconstruction is under the guidance of our physiotherapy team and initially involves working on range of motion exercises. Once a full range of motion is established, muscle-strengthening work will commence. The focus is on quadriceps strengthening. Gradually sport specific exercises are introduced into the rehabilitation with the aim to return to play once specific performance criteria are met. The final aspect of rehab is the introduction of an injury prevention programme that decreases the risk of further injury.