PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) tears are not as common as other knee ligament injuries and usually occur in conjunction with another knee ligament tear.
NON-SURGICAL PCL TREATMENT
Initial PCL treatments do not involve surgery. Many people with a PCL injury can experience relief, prevent further damage and recover without surgery with some lifestyle changes, recommended by your orthopedic surgeon in Dallas, including:
- RICE: Immediately following injury, try resting, icing, compressing and elevating the knee to keep pain and swelling to a minimum.
- Avoid activity: It is important for recovery to take a break from sports, exercise and other physically demanding activities while allowing the knee to rest.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Ibuprofen, naproxen, and others may temporarily relieve pain and control inflammation. NSAIDs should be used cautiously and are not meant to be a long term solution. Dr. Madsen will explain the usage and side-effects if he prescribes medication.
- Physical Therapy: As part of your sports injury treatment, Dr. Madsen may prescribe special exercises to help rehabilitate and strengthen the PCL in the knee. You may do these exercises on your own or you may choose to see a physical therapist who can teach you the correct technique so as not to damage the knee further.
SURGICAL PCL TREATMENT
Dr. Madsen will determine if nonsurgical treatments are sufficient for the PCL treatment. If the tear is severe and/or conservative avenues have not provided relief, he may suggest a minimally invasive arthroscopic PCL surgery. The doctor will have to rebuild the ligament, as sewing the torn ligament back together will not heal properly. The PCL will be rebuilt using either tissue graft from the patient’s body (such as the heel), or a donor tissue. The surgery is performed through small incisions in the knee. Recovery time and pain are reduced with arthroscopic surgery.