The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), one of four major ligaments of the knee, is situated at the back of the knee. It connects the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). The PCL limits the backward movement of the shinbone. The posterior cruciate ligament is usually injured by a direct impact, such as a motor vehicle accident when the knee forcefully strikes against the dashboard. Another common occurrence is during sports participation when a twisting injury or overextension of the knee can also cause PCL injury. When PCL reconstruction surgery is required for treatment, Dr. Steven Struhl at Shoulders & Knees is your best option in NYC.
Injuries to the PCL are graded based on the severity of the injury. In a grade I injury, the ligament is mildly damaged and slightly stretched, but the knee joint is stable. In a grade II injury, there is a partial tear of the ligament. In a grade III injury, there is a complete tear of the ligament, and the ligament is divided into two halves, making the knee joint unstable. Such injuries can result in instability in the knee joint, knee stiffness that causes limping and difficulty in walking. PCL reconstruction surgery may be recommended to restore function and relieve knee pain.
Diagnosis and Treatment for PCL Injuries
Diagnosis of a PCL injury is made on the basis of symptoms, medical history and physical examination of the knee. The doctor may order a few diagnostic tests, such as X-rays and MRI scans. X-rays are useful to rule out avulsion fractures where the PCL tears off a piece of bone with it. An MRI scan is done for better visualization of the soft tissues. PCL injuries are very rare and difficult to detect when compared to other knee ligament injuries.
Generally, surgery is considered in patients with a dislocated knee and multiple ligament injuries, including the PCL. Dr. Steven Struhl is one of the top orthopedic surgeons and knee specialists in the country, offering advanced options in performing PCL reconstruction surgery at our state-of-the-art surgical centers.
If you believe you may have a PCL tear or injury, contact us at Shoulders & Knees to schedule an exam and consultation with Dr. Struhl.