The posterior cruciate ligament forms a large ligament in the knee. Injury to this part causes severe pain or osteoarthritis in the knee. It normally takes a longer time for healing as compared to other ligaments. Minor injuries may require only physiotherapy for treatment. However, severe injuries use reconstructive surgery to correct knee deformities. The results of this surgery are successful and long-lasting.
The patient is admitted to hospital a day before surgery. During surgery, the person is placed under general anesthesia. The PCL reconstructions surgery basically involves key hole procedure. Some small incisions are made on the knee. These incisions guide arthroscope and other surgical instruments to the affected site. The camera in the arthroscope provides images of inside of injured joint. Before replacement, the damaged ligaments are shortened into pieces. The surgical instruments are then used for inserting graft into the bones. The graft is fixed in a position using special screws. Adhesive strips or sutures are used to close the incisions.
The surgery usually lasts for about 1 hour. The drowsiness from anesthesia goes out in an hour or two. Braces or crutches are used in knee for about 1-2 months to improve knee movement. Cooling methods for knee are beneficial and enhance healing. The doctor advises physical exercises to strengthen the knee joints. Heavy weight should not be put on the operated knee. It can worsen the knee condition. The patient recovers completely in 6-7 months.
The common complications in PCL reconstruction surgery are:
- Nerve or ligament damage
- Small patches on skin
- Skin irritation