Finding PCL Injury Treatment in Princeton

Joshua S. Hornstein, MD October 9th, 2018

Deciding About Treating Your PCL Injury? Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Offers Tips

The PCL, or the posterior cruciate ligament, is one of the two ligaments that stabilize the knee joint. Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect two bones. The word posterior refers to the PCL’s location in the back of the knee itself.

The PCL is similar to the anterior cruciate ligament (or ACL). These two ligaments connect the thigh bone (or femur) to the shin bone (or tibia). Although the PCL is larger and stronger than the ACL, the PCL can still be torn or sprained. When an in injury to a ligament occurs, medical care is needed. Rothman Orthopaedic Institute’s Sports Medicine team are experts in joint injury. For PCL injury treatment in Princeton, contact Rothman Orthopaedic Institute.

Symptoms of PCL Injury

You may wonder, what does it feel like when you tear your PCL? Here is a list of symptoms that you will find helpful if you believe you may have suffered an injury to your PCL.

  • Pain: mild to moderate pain in the knee that can cause limping or difficulty walking

  • Swelling: knee swelling often occurs rapidly, within hours of an injury

  • Instability: the knee might feel loose, as if it's going to give way

If there are no associated injuries to other parts of your knee, the signs and symptoms of a posterior cruciate ligament injury can be so mild that you might not notice that anything is wrong. Over time, however, the pain may worsen and the affected knee might feel more unstable. If other parts of the knee have also been injured, your signs and symptoms will likely be more severe.

What Causes PCL Injury?

Because of the PCL’s location behind the knee, it takes powerful force to injure it. This can occur due to a fall, an automobile accident, or more commonly, a sports-related injury. These injuries happen when the knee is in a bent or flexed position.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a knee injury is one of the most common reasons people visit their doctors. Because of the complex structure of the knee joint, it is relatively easy to injure; being a common injury does not mean easy to treat. It is important to have highly trained experts who are familiar with posterior cruciate ligament anatomy, function, and treatment. Thankfully, for PCL injury treatment in Princeton, we have the team at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute who are board certified and have years of experience with knee reconstruction.

Diagnosis of a PCL Injury

In order to accurately diagnose your symptoms, your healthcare provider will need a detailed history of the injury and the resulting effects on your knee. He or she will want to perform a physical examination of the affected knee as well as diagnostic imaging, such as an MRI or x-ray.

From there, you and your orthopaedic physician will discuss what treatment options will best fit your specific needs. The goal will be for you to return to your previous activity level with optimal posterior cruciate ligament function.

What Happens Next?

Depending on your specific diagnosis, you may have surgical or nonsurgical options for treatment. The best person to discuss this with you will be a physician who specializes in knee injuries.

Follow the R.I.C.E. method to help reduce pain and swelling:

  • Rest your leg and avoid putting weight on it

  • Ice your knee for 20 minutes at a time, 3 to 4 times a day

  • Compress the area by wrapping it with an elastic bandage or compression wrap

  • Elevate your leg by raising it above the level of your heart

You should speak with your healthcare team about pain medications

When it comes to your health and well-being, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute is prepared to offer the most advanced treatment options. For more information on PCL injury treatment in Princeton or in the surrounding region, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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