Overcome a Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury With Knee Pain Treatment in Lafayette, LA
The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is a strong band of connective tissue in the knee. Along with the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the PCL links the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). Although the PCL is larger and stronger than the ACL – and therefore less vulnerable to injury – it can still become sprained or torn after a fall onto a bent knee or a direct blow to the shinbone.
What are the symptoms of a posterior cruciate ligament injury?
The signs of a PCL injury may include:
- Mild to moderate knee pain that causes difficulty walking
- Swelling and bruising at the back of the knee that develop within a few hours after the injury
- Knee instability, or a feeling that the knee is about to “give out”
If no other knee injuries are present, the initial symptoms of a PCL injury may be very mild or even unnoticeable. However, if left untreated, the pain and instability may worsen and become more apparent over time.
How is a posterior cruciate ligament injury treated?
Treatment for a PCL injury can vary depending on the extent of the damage. Some potentially effective options include:
- Medications – Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- Physical therapy – Stretching and strengthening exercises can be performed to improve the function and stability of the knee. A knee brace or crutches may be used to facilitate progressive weight bearing during the rehabilitation process.
- Surgery – For a severe PCL injury that is accompanied by other torn knee ligaments, cartilage damage, or a broken bone, surgical repair may be discussed. In some cases, a surgeon may accomplish this arthroscopically by inserting a fiber-optic camera and long, slender surgical tools through several small incisions around the knee.
As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist practicing in Lafayette, Louisiana, Peter D. Vizzi, M.D., can evaluate your symptoms, perform an examination, and discuss an appropriate treatment strategy for your posterior cruciate ligament injury. Contact Dr. Vizzi’s office today to request a consultation.