Ligaments are vital structures that connect bones to other bones within the body. The Posterior Cruciate Ligament – otherwise more commonly referred to as the PCL – is a ligament in the knee joining the back of the shinbone (lower leg) to the inside end of the thigh bone (upper leg). It crosses over the Anterior Cruciate Ligament forming and “X” inside the knee. The purpose of this ligament is to aid in stabilization of the front and back movements of the knee.
The Posterior Cruciate Ligament is stronger than some of the other knee ligaments and therefore less prone to injury than these other ligaments. When an individual injures this ligament there is not the popping sound commonly heard with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury.
PCL injuries generally occur as the result of over stretching or pulling of the ligament. It may be injured due to direct physical trauma to the tibia (shinbone) when the knee is bent thereby over stretching the ligament. Something as simple as missing a step also is common among knee injuries.
Symptoms of a PCL strain or tear include swelling, lack of motion, and knee pain. Individuals have also experienced that while they can walk on their knee, it is not completely stable.
Immediate treatment of the PCL injury include elevation of the knee and the application of cold or ice packs. Rest and minimal use of the injured knee are also important to healing. Light compression of the knee joint with the use of an elasticized support bandage may also be directed by your care giver.
Because of the location of the PCL, surgery is generally not a recommended treatment for this type of injury. More often though, individuals with PCL tearing require physiotherapy.
For those who suffer from some of these long term complications of existing PCL injuries, Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ can help. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ will promote blood flow to the knee and improve elasticity of the ligament. For those with chronic pain Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ will help to reduce it and free the individual.
To reduce the risk of injury to the knee regular exercise is an important component. Gradually increasing the intensity of exercise and being aware of the movement of the knee are key factors as well. Avoiding sudden movements such as twisting or overstretching of the joint will help keep the knee stable.