What is the Treatment for a PCL Injury?
The treatment for a PCL injury is more conservative versus that of an ACL injury. However the decision of whether or not surgery is necessary will be determined based on the severity of the injury itself and the results of the tests.
Most minor PCL injuries are treated by the RICE technique – rest, ice, compression and elevation. You may need the use of crutches for a period of time or be placed in a knee brace to restrict movement of the knee and allow it to heal. Use of anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and pain relievers may also relieve discomfort and help diminish the swelling. You may require the assistance of a physical therapist to strengthen the surrounding muscles of the knee and increase flexibility.
Surgery is necessary in more severe instances and when serious instability is present – primarily when there is a tear to the PCL or there is other associated ligament injuries to the same knee. Dr. Padalecki will perform a PCL reconstruction, which replaces the torn ligament and restores stability to the knee.
How Long is the Recovery after PCL Surgery?
You will be required to wear a brace for at least 6 months following the surgery. A rehabilitation program will be prescribed at your first post-operative visit with Dr. Padalecki. Initially, the therapy will focus on returning motion back to the injured knee and surrounding muscles while protecting the healing ligament. After that is achieved, you will follow a progressive strengthening program to and eventually return to activities.
For additional resources on ligament injuries to the knee, or to learn more about the treatment for a PCL injury, please contact the office of Dr. Jeff Padalecki, orthopedic knee specialist in Austin, Texas.