Symptoms of a PCL tear may include:
If other parts of the knee have also been injured, the signs and symptoms will likely be more severe.
A PCL tear can occur when –
Although PCL tear is very common in 18- to 44-year olds, older adults are more prone to ligament injury.
PCL Tear diagnosis generally involves a physical examination and one or more imaging tests:
Treatment depends on the extent of the injury and the time elapsed since the injury. In most cases, surgery can be avoided by –
If the injury is severe or is combined with damage to other knee ligaments, cartilage or bone then PCL reconstruction surgery may be required.
The surgery can be performed arthroscopically by inserting a fiber-optic camera and surgical tools through several small incisions around the knee.
If multiple structures (knee ligaments, cartilage, bones) are damaged along with a PCL tear, you might develop long-term knee pain and instability. You may be at a higher risk of developing arthritis in the affected knee in the future.
PCL reconstruction surgery can cause some complications including –
A detailed diagnosis and carefully executed surgical procedure can reduce the risk of these complications.
PCL reconstruction surgery has some risks including neurovascular complications, persistent posterior sag, osteonecrosis, knee motion loss, frontal knee pain & fractures.
A partially torn PCL may heal by itself. Such patients are recommended to use knee braces and undergo physical therapy. Surgery is usually the last line of treatment.
A full recovery from PCL reconstruction can take anywhere between 9 months and a year, depending on the severity of the condition.
You can go home 2-3 hours after the surgery, however, some patients stay overnight at the hospital.