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Posterior Cruciate Ligament - Purpose of the PCL and How It is Injured

Posterior Cruciate Ligament - Purpose of the PCL and How It is Injured

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Published by: drbraceco on Apr 29, 2011
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Posterior Cruciate Ligament - Purpose of the PCL and How it is Injured

The femur (thighbone/upper bone of the leg) and the tibia (shinbone/leg bone) make up the knee joint. The ligaments are the strong tissues that fasten them together. Two cruciate ligaments are held in the middle of the knee joint. One of these is the Posterior Cruciate Ligament, abbreviated as PCL, while the other is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament or the ACL. PCL prevents the tibia from moving too far under the femur and it is the knee's basic stabilizer; it is also stronger than the ACL. Rotation of the knee is made possible due to the central axis that is provided by the PCL. PCL injuries rarely occur and rarely diagnosed. There may be many causes of PCL injury. It usually occurs during a football game or any other outdoor game. It can also occur when one is involved in a car or automobile accident. When someone falls on the bent knee, the shinbone first strikes the ground and then moves backward, causing PCL injury. In car accidents, the shinbone can be driven backwards on the bent knee. Hyperextension or bending too far can also cause damage to the PCL. PCL can get injured along with other ligaments like the ACL and MCL. The patient would feel severe pain and swelling right after injury. The knee swells up because PCL is related to the tubes which carry blood. The knee may become rigid and may make the patient limp. The patient would also be unable to move the knee. Instability is very common in PCL injury while moving the knee from side to side or while rotating it. The physician may carry out many tests to diagnose the PCL rupture. X-rays and Magnetic Resonance Imagining (MRI) may help to diagnose the injury and to find out whether other ligaments get injured or not. Non-surgical treatment includes R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) which may help to reduce the pain and swelling. Patients may use crutches and long-leg braces for support for a few days or weeks depending on the nature of injury and the pain you are suffering from. Surgery is most often not required in PCL injuries. However, it is recommended when other ligaments are also injured. The process of rehabilitation is followed before surgery. By following it, surgeons face few complications during surgery and patients usually do not complaint about instability after surgery. The patient returns to sport activities and other daily routine activities without any support of crutches and long-leg braces when quadriceps muscles are nearly back to normal routine. Anyone having these symptoms should visit the doctor or athletic trainer immediately for further evaluation. The Brace Super Store

If you would like to take your stability and pain relief to the next level (affordably) then visit us online today at http://www.drbraceco.com. DR. Brace Co. is an education based site, created by true brace specialists, that can provide helpful information and meaningful support. If you have questions come to our site and let us know, or call toll free 1-888-564-4888. We will respond.

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