Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

Overview:

Posterior cruciate is strong ligament situated at the back of the knee. It is one among the ligaments which join thigh bone to shin bone. Being a strong and tough ligament, posterior cruciate damage occurs only with high force. As a result, acute pain and instability is developed in the knee. An early treatment will help to prevent further discomforts.

knee ligament injuries

Causes:

A powerful blow to the front part of a bent knee is the main cause of posterior cruciate ligament injury. It may occur during sport activities or accidents. The other causes include:

  • Falling on knee during knee bent
  • Stretching of ligament
  • A simple misstep
  • Trauma to knee

Symptoms:

Usually a clicking or popping sound is not heard during PCL injury. The symptoms of this injury include:

  • Mild pain and swelling
  • Burning sensation in knee
  • Unstable knee
  • Difficulty in movement

Treatments:

The damaged part is closely examined by the doctor before choosing the treatment procedure. Imaging tests such as x-rays, MRI scan, etc gives an image of the damaged tissue and ligament. Upon diagnosis, proper treatment method is chosen regarding doctor-patient preference. The treatments included are:

  • Non-surgical Treatment:

The non-surgical treatment of PCL injury uses following measures:

  • Rest

The activities which may damage the knee should be restricted. A proper rest is essential.

  • Ice packs

The pain and swelling can be relieved by regularly applying ice packs on the affected area.

  • Medications

A pain relieving drug or injection is useful to control the discomforts caused by the injury.

  • Knee braces or crutches

For reducing excess pressure on the knee, braces or crutches are preferred. It provides stabilization to the knee. Also it protects the knee from further injuries.

  • Physical therapy

A set of stretching and strengthening exercises are suggested. It retains the mobility and flexibility of knee.

  • Surgical Treatment:

In case of severe injuries, surgery is recommended. The surgery involves rebuilding the torn or damaged ligament. A tissue graft from any other part of the body or human donor, is used to replace injured ligament. This tissue graft is arthroscopically inserted through a small incision made in the knee. It usually takes several months for the graft to completely heal into the bone.

Post-treatment:

A rest to the body along with physical therapies helps to regain the functionality of knee. The therapy usually begin 1-4 weeks after surgery. It includes mild exercises and medications to enhance healing. The recovery is a slow process. The duration varies with the severity of the condition. Braces or casts are recommended after surgery to straighten the knee.

Risks:

The possible risks in the treatment of posterior cruciate ligament injury include:

  • Irregular shape of knee
  • Bleeding
  • Scarring
  • Long-term healing
  • Infection

 

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