Non-operative Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury Treatment

The natural history of sports related PCL injuries that are treated nonoperatively is quite good. Return to sports after the appropriate physical therapy can be expected. The nonoperative treatment includes control of instability, swelling, and pain. Initial knee bracing is used to prevent the tibia from displacing posteriorly, while decreasing the pain. Crutches may be necessary until the quadriceps strength recovers.   

Physical therapy would include quadriceps strengthening. Hamstring exercises should be avoided to prevent increased posterior translation of the tibia. In milder injuries, nonoperative rehabilitation and a brace are sufficient. 

For more severe injuries, reconstruction using a graft is warranted.

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