The PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) is one of the four main ligaments that make up the knee joint. This ligament is located in the middle of the knee, next to your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), and prevents your shin bone from moving too far backward. PCL injuries are not as common as injuries to the ACL, but these injuries seriously affect the stability of your knee.
Causes – The PCL can become injured or torn when the tibia is hit while the leg is bent. This injury can happen while being tackled in football, falling on your shins, or any other impact to your shins. Your PCL can also tear due to a hyperextended knee.
Symptoms – Most ligament tears of any kind will result in swelling and pain in the area. For PCL tears, the swelling is typically in the back of the knee. You may also feel instability in the joint.
Diagnosis – PCL tears are classified in grades according to severity. At grade 1, the PCL is stretched, but not torn. At grade 2, you are looking at a partial tear. If you are diagnosed with a grade 3, the PCL is completely torn. An MRI can be used to determine the severity of the tear. Surgery is only recommended for grade 3 injuries, as the PCL is difficult to reach when operating.
Middletown Medical Imaging’s open MRI machine can help your doctor determine the severity of your knee injury. Contact us today to schedule your appointment at our diagnostic imaging center in Middletown, NJ.