Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) tear treatment in Gurgaon

Did you injure your knee while playing basketball, cricket, football or tennis? Were you involved in a motor vehicle accident or car crash that caused an injury to your knee, especially with the shin bone moving backward, impacting your rear knee?

You might have a PCL injury. Our experienced sports injury specialist and orthopedist in Gurgaon Dr. Ratnav Ratan is here to help you recover from your injury and get back to your favorite activity.

Symptoms of a torn PCL

Some of the noticeable symptoms of PCL injury are:

  • Moderate to severe knee pain
  • Discomfort in the calf
  • Swelling at the knee
  • Giving away sensation while walking on uneven ground
  • Difficulty while climbing stairs, running or jumping
  • Difficulty while balancing knee while taking a quick turn

Read below to know about posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury in the knee.

What is PCL? Where is PCL located in the knee?

PCL stands for posterior cruciate ligament, which is one of the two ligaments in your knee that forms an X. The ligament in front is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and the ligament in the back is known as the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). These two ligaments work together to help your knees move and rotate smoothly.

Role of PCL

PCL stabilizes the knee joint in ‘back to back’ or in ‘front to back’ forces.

For example, in activities like walking, when you are raising and keeping your leg in front, the posterior cruciate ligament ensures that the leg does not go too far and lands in the correct place, putting proper weight on the leg.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament

PCL Injury

A PCL tear is more likely to occur due to direct blunt-force trauma to the front of the knee. It leads to the ligament getting loose and might also affect the other ligaments and the attached bone in the knee.

A PCL injury can occur when you get tackled while playing sports, or in a motor vehicle accident where your knee hits the front of the dashboard, driving the shin bone backward and tearing your PCL.

PCL injuries are less common than ACL injuries and hence are left often unrecognized and undiagnosed.

PCL Injury

Let us move on to the diagnosis of the PCL injury

The orthopedic surgeon will require to examine your knee using these methods-

1. History: The doctor will ask what you were doing and the position you were in when your knee got injured. He will also ask about the symptoms that you experience.
2.  Physical Examination: The orthopedic doctor will examine your knee area by making you lie on your back with your knee bent. The doctor will press against your upper shin to examine abnormality in the knee movement. The doctor may use a device called an arthrometer, which measures the ligament’s tightness. Any abnormality noticed in the knee can be a signal of PCL injury.
3. Diagnostic Tests: The tests that will help in further diagnosis and knowing the exact location of the injury is –
  • X-ray – A x-ray of the knee shows if there is a bone fracture attached to PCL injury.
  • MRI scan – An MRI scan can give images of the PCL injury and find its exact location.

After a thorough examination and screening of the test reports, our orthopedic doctor will explain in detail about the intensity of the PCL tear and the appropriate treatment.

Intensity of PCL tears:

Acute PCL tear: A PCL tear that persists for less than 3 to 4 weeks is an acute PCL tear.

Chronic PCL tear: A PCL tear that persists beyond 6 to 8 weeks is a chronic PCL tear.

Treatment for PCL tear:

The orthopedic doctor will suggest the treatment protocol for the PCL injury which could include any of the following options –

Non-surgical treatment

For acute PCL tear, treatment usually comprises painkillers or non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs.

RICE regime is highly followed for a few days which stands for:

R- Rest

I – Ice

C – compression

E – elevation

Non-surgical treatment

This regime is followed by wearing a knee brace or crutches to provide external support to the knee joint while walking or doing weight-bearing activities.

Once these symptoms are settled, physical therapy is used to improve knee motion and strength.

Surgical treatment

For chronic PCL tear, where the other ligaments of the knee are also injured, the patient might need arthroscopic PCL reconstruction surgery. It is a less-invasive surgical procedure. In an arthroscopic PCL reconstruction surgery, a torn PCL ligament is rebuilt by replacing it with a new tendon graft.

The ligament can be replaced with:

  • Tendon graft from a deceased human donor (cadaver)
  • A piece of tendon graft from the other knee

The surgeon makes a keyhole to get into the knee and visualize every corner of the knee. A hole is made at the backside of the knee as well. A tendon graft is implanted to create a new PCL.

Surgical treatment

The surgery is followed by rehabilitation or physical therapy for better recovery.

PCL reconstruction surgery can lead to improved knee stability and lower the intensity of problems.

Be it acute or chronic PCL tear, the recovery process from a PCL injury is slow.

Your commitment towards the treatment and physical therapy is extremely essential to ensure that you resume activities you preferred to do before your knee injury.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your knee, you can visit our clinic for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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