|Grade III Complete Tear of the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (acute)|
Your diagnosis is a complete (Grade III) tear of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).
Injury or Condition
This injury is a total disruption of the largest stabilizing ligament in the knee. The posterior cruciate ligament is located centrally within the knee, behind the kneecap, making it difficult for the patient to localize the injury. This ligament passes just behind the anterior cruciate ligament.
The most common cause is a direct blow to the anterior tibia (front of the shin bone) with the knee flexed. It may also happen when the knee is hyperextended. The injury typically occurs in motor vehicle accidents or contact sports.
Typical symptoms are swelling and evidence of bleeding or tenderness over the back of the knee. Pain may be minimal initially. There may be a feeling of instability, but there are rarely any episodes of the knee giving way unlike grade III ACL tear.
Standard treatment includes:
Expected recovery usually occurs in about three months at which time swelling may be resolved and strength recovered. A full return to active sports is usually possible. If PCL reconstruction is needed, full recovery may take 9-12 months.