Sports Medicine 101 Presented by Inland Imaging

Sports Medicine 101

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Normal PCL
Normal PCL

Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)

What is the PCL?
The Posterior Cruciate Ligament, commonly referred to as the PCL, is paired with ACL to give knee front to back stability. Injuries to the PCL are much less common than the ACL.

What type of motions can damage the PCL?
Commonly injured with a dashboard type motion where the knee hits dash with leg pushed backward in relation to the femur. The PCL can also be injured through knee hyperflexion when an athlete falls on the front of the knee.

What sports see this injury the most?
Football and soccer are the most common sports for PCL injuries.

How is the PCL injury treated?
Rest and physical therapy are treatments for minor PCL injuries. Complex injuries may need surgical repair. However, surgery for PCL injuries is controversial and technically more difficult than ACL tears, so is used with caution.

What is the timeline for recovery?
Recovery time is variable. A partial injury can recover in weeks to months, while a complete tear might take 1-2 years. For surgically repaired PCL's, recovery time is up to one year. This injury can be career threatening to certain high-level athletes.

How can a PCL injury be avoided?
Muscle strengthening and stretching may reduce the incidence of injuries.

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