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Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) tears

Located in the back of the knee, the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) connects the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). The PCL can tear when you take a bad fall on a bent knee. The PCL can also tear when a driver or passenger in a car accident hits their bent knee against the dashboard.

PCL tears are marked by immediate swelling and difficulty walking. If you believe you have a PCL tear, contact your physician immediately for treatment.

Treatment options for PCL Tear:

Initial treatment for a torn PCL is the familiar formula of RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevation. Your physician may have you use crutches until the swelling has subsided and most likely will use a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to further assess your condition.

If you are diagnosed with a major PCL tear, you will undergo arthroscopic surgery to stabilize the knee. This is done on an outpatient basis. Surgery is followed by crutches and a brace, and you will begin an exercise and rehabilitation program designed to strengthen the lower extremity muscles and restore full range of motion.

The information listed on this site is for informational and educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation.The information on this site does not replace your doctor's specific instructions.