Knee Operations and Procedures

Subject

PCL reconstruction

POSTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT RECONSTRUCTION (PCL)

This information sheet provides information on the nature and purpose of the procedure in addition to an outline of the post-operative rehabilitation.

Purpose and description of the procedure

The PCL is the largest ligament in the knee and stops the shin bone (tibia) from moving too far backwards.

It is commonly injured by a blow to the front of the upper shin, such as during a fall onto the flexed knee. Hyperextension (over straightening) and hyperflexion (over bending too far) of the knee can also tear the PCL and it is often torn in high energy injuries dislocating the knee such as falling from a height or in RTA's. Not everyone who has a PCL injury will require surgery as milder or partial isolated tears (no other ligaments involved) can heal just with the aid of an appropriate brace and rehabilitation. When torn the problem symptom is a feeling of ‘looseness’ and a feeling of giving way.

Often a brace is recommended, holding the tibia forwards and controlling stability. This helps predict who would respond well to the operation. The knee can tolerate some looseness associated with a healed PCL ligament but it depends on the required sport and how the ligament heals.   

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