What is a PCL or Posterior Cruciate ligament injury?

Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injuries tend to occur less often than ACL injuries, but that does not make them any less serious. Of particular risk for injuries are those playing football, skiing, martial arts, and similar sports. In most cases, the knee twists inwards with the upper body bending backward at the same time. The fibers very often tear where the ligament is connected to the thigh bone.  It is often associated with auto accidents when the driver or passenger’s shin is forced into the dashboard causing the rupture.

What are the symptoms of a PCL injury?

Symptoms of an injury to the PCL can be mild enough to go unnoticed at their onset. Left untreated, they may worsen with time, and you may become more sore or unstable.

How to Treat a PCL injury

Most PCL injuries are treated by orthopedic surgeons who will determine a treatment plan that is best for the patient based on the severity of the injury and the patient’s needs.  Unlike an ACL injury, patients do not feel as much instability in the knee, so clinicians will not perform surgery often on a PCL injury. Most patients can go back to normal activities after a conservative treatment plan of physical therapy, medication, and using bracing support.

A typical conservative treatment plan is:

  • Physical Therapy – exercises to build up strength in quad muscles to help reduce the load and stress put on the knee joint
  • Medication – light pain relievers to alleviate discomfort and swelling
  • Compression therapy – supportive sleeve products to provide stability and reduce swelling
  • Bracing – For corrective positioning, enhanced healing and stability

The role of bracing for PCL injuries

Knee bracing plays an important role to the PCL rehabilitation process by adding stability and confidence as a patient progresses through the treatment plan.  medi is one of the few manufactures to develop an off-the -shelf PCL only knee brace with unique feature to better treat the PCL patient. Other will rearrange straps on an ACL brace or only provide custom PCL products that are costly to patients and healthcare systems.

More Resources

medi® orthopedic products used in the treatment of a PCL injury