Treatments of posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury
You’ll usually be referred to an acute knee clinic, which will organise any investigations and treatment you need.
The treatment you’re offered for your posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury will depend on several things. These include how severe the damage is, whether other parts of your knee are also injured, and how well you respond to treatment. Treatments include physiotherapy, medicines and surgery.
You may see an orthopaedic surgeon.
Your doctor may prescribe stronger painkillers if your pain is severe. As well as easing your pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Making sure you follow any physiotherapy and rehabilitation programme you’re given will be an important part of your recovery. The aim of physiotherapy is to help your knee recover its full range of movement and its strength and stability.
Most people do well with physiotherapy alone. But in some situations, surgery may be the best option to repair the injury to your posterior cruciate ligament. This is most likely if:
- more than one ligament or tissue in your knee has been damaged
- your knee remains unstable or painful after physiotherapy
You should be able to return to your normal activities, including sports, within nine to 12 months after your operation. You’ll need to follow a course of physiotherapy first, to build the strength up in your thigh muscles.
Ask your doctor about the pros and cons of surgery, and how it might help in your own circumstances.