The posterior cruciate ligament, or PCL, is the strongest ligament of the knee. While the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL is injured more often than the PCL and is more commonly discussed, a torn PCL accounts for more than 20% of reported knee injuries. The ACL sits in front of the PCL location in the knee. A torn PCL is commonly missed and left undiagnosed.
The posterior cruciate ligament’s most important function is to prevent posterior translation of the knee at higher knee flexion angles. Thus, patients commonly complaining of problems with deceleration, problems going down stairs and inclines or general twisting, turning or pivoting activities.
PCL injuries are classified according to the amount of injury to the functional ligament:
- Grade 1 PCL Sprain: partial PCL tear
- Grade 2 PCL Tear: near-complete PCL tear
- Grade 3 PCL Tear: a complete PCL tear – the ligament is non-functional.
It’s Arthroscopic surgery ie with small key holes and small incisions whole operation is done . A strong graft is harvested and sockets are made on both the thigh bone ( femur) and leg bone ( tibia) and it is fixed with screws or loops .
What to expect after the PCL reconstruction?
Most patients experience only mild discomfort when they wake up after a PCL reconstruction. The knee will have a bulky absorbent pad applied, which may become damp with the irrigation fluid used during the procedure. It is normal for the fluid to have a faint red tinge, and small amounts may continue to drain for 24-36 hours. If more than one ligament has been reconstructed a knee brace may be used to help protect the repair.
How Long will it take to recover?
Crutches may be used for comfort where necessary, and are usually required for 6-8 wks . Most people are walking reasonably comfortably by 4 weeks with walker . It is important not to over-exert too early after the procedure as this can increase discomfort and swelling. Other activities can be gradually reintroduced within ones level of comfort.