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PCL Reconstruction

PCL Reconstruction Specialist in Palm Beach Gardens & Wellington

The PCL is usually injured by a direct impact during an automobile accident or falls to the ground on a bent knee and due to twisting injury or overextension of the knee. Chadwick B. Hampton, M.D. provides diagnosis and minimally?invasive PCL reconstruction surgery in Palm Beach Gardens & Wellington. Chadwick B. Hampton, M.D. also provides the highest level of care during and after the surgery. Contact Chadwick B. Hampton, M.D.’s office for an appointment today!

What is PCL Reconstruction Surgery?

PCL reconstruction surgery is a procedure to correct torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in the knee using a tissue graft taken from another part of the body, or from a donor.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament Anatomy

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), one of four major ligaments of the knee, is situated at the back of the knee. It connects the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). The PCL limits the backward motion of the shinbone.

What are PCL Injuries?

PCL injuries are very rare and are more difficult to detect than other knee ligament injuries. Cartilage injuries, bone bruises, and ligament injuries often occur in combination with PCL injuries. Injuries to the PCL can be graded as I, II or III depending on the severity of injury. 

Causes of PCL Injuries

The PCL is usually injured by a direct impact, such as in an automobile accident when the bent knee forcefully strikes the dashboard. In sports, it can occur when an athlete falls to the ground on a bent knee. Twisting injury or overextending the knee can cause the PCL to tear. 

Symptoms of PCL Injuries

PCL injuries are usually characterized by knee pain and swelling immediately after the injury. There may also be instability in the knee joint, and knee stiffness that causes limping and difficulty in walking. 

Diagnosis of PCL Injuries

The diagnosis of a PCL tear is made based on your symptoms, medical history and by performing a physical examination of your knee. Other diagnostic tests such as X-rays and MRI scan may be ordered. X-rays are useful to rule out avulsion fractures wherein the PCL tears off a piece of bone along with it. An MRI scan is ordered to help view the images of soft tissues better.

Treatment Options for PCL Injuries

Treatment options may include non-surgical and surgical treatment. Non-surgical treatment consists of rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE protocol), all of which assist in controlling pain and swelling. Physical therapy may be recommended to improve your knee motion and strength. A knee brace may be recommended to help immobilize your knee. Crutches may be recommended to protect your knee and avoid bearing weight on your leg.

PCL Reconstruction Procedure

Generally, surgery is considered for a dislocated knee and multiple ligament injuries, including the PCL. Surgery involves reconstruction of the torn ligament using a tissue graft taken from another part of the body, or from a donor. 

Surgery is usually carried out with the help of an arthroscope, using a few small incisions. The basic steps involved in PCL reconstruction are as follows:

Postoperative Care following PCL Reconstruction

You are advised to maintain the knee in full extension with the support of a knee brace for a period of 2 to 4 weeks. You should not bear any weight on the operated knee. Pillows or other supports are placed under the tibia for the first two months after surgery to prevent any posterior subluxation of the tibia.

Weight-bearing and rehabilitation are initiated after 8 weeks. Crutches are often required until you regain your normal strength.

Risks and Complications of PCL Reconstruction

Knee stiffness and residual instability are the most common complications associated with PCL reconstruction. The other possible complications include:

If you would like to have additional information on knee treatments or would like to learn more about PCL reconstruction surgery, please contact Chadwick B. Hampton, M.D., serving the communities of Palm Beach Gardens & Wellington.

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