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PCL Tear Treatment in Houston, Cypress and Beaumont, Texas

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) works with the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) to connect the thighbone to the shinbone. Falling on or striking the knee can cause the PCL to tear, resulting in pain and loss of function in the knee. Receiving the proper treatment for a PCL tear is essential for those who wish to regain the full use of the knee and avoid permanent injury.

Symptoms of a PCL Tear

Unlike ACL injuries, PCL injuries don't usually come with a popping sensation felt in the knee. In many cases, people who suffer a PCL injury think their problem is minor and may try to proceed with their regular activities afterward. An untreated PCL tear produces symptoms including:

  • Pain and swelling
  • A "wobbly" or unstable sensation in the knee
  • Difficulty bearing weight or walking on the affected leg

As these symptoms could be attributed to multiple sources, it's crucial to get a formal diagnosis from a physician.

PCL Diagnosis

When you visit your doctor, they will first ask you about when the injury occurred and what you were doing when it happened. The basic questions are:

  • Was your knee straight, twisted or bent at the time of injury?
  • How did the knee feel after the injury?
  • Have you experienced symptoms after being injured?

The physician will also conduct a physical PCL injury test. This typically involves lying on your back and bending your knee as the doctor examines it and puts pressure on your upper shin to identify any abnormal movements of the knee. 

Your doctor may use something called an arthrometer to check the tightness of your PCL. You may be asked to walk back and forth briefly to give the doctor the chance to see any abnormal motions in action. X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help pinpoint the injury and evaluate its severity. 

PCL Treatment Options in Houston, Beaumont and Cypress

If you've received a diagnosis of PCL tear or suspect you have one, you're likely wondering what your treatment options are. If you need PCL treatment in the Houston, Beaumont and Cypress area, Mufaddal Gombera, MD can offer you both nonsurgical and surgical options for your knee injury.

Nonsurgical Options for PCL Injury

If no other ligaments are injured, PCL surgery may not be required. Your doctor will likely recommend rest, ice, gentle compression and elevation (the RICE method) and may suggest immobilizing the knee with a brace. In some cases, crutches help keep weight off the leg. 

Another effective form of PCL injury treatment is physical therapy designed to strengthen the leg muscles surrounding the ligament and restore your knee's function.

PCL Surgery

PCL surgery is typically recommended when there are multiple injuries combined, such as when more than one ligament is torn or the PCL tear occurs in conjunction with a dislocated knee. 

The surgery requires rebuilding the ligament, as ligament ends sewn back together do not heal. The ligament is replaced with a tissue graft taken from a donor or from a different part of your body through arthroscopic surgery, which is less invasive than other techniques.

PCL Tear Recovery Time and Rehabilitation

PCL injury recovery time depends on a variety of factors. The severity of your initial injury, the treatment undertaken and the type of sport you play affect how long it takes before you can return to your normal activities. Your recovery time will likely be somewhere between four months for moderate injury treated nonsurgically and 12 months for severe injuries that require surgical intervention. 

Next Steps With Dr. Mufaddal M. Gombera

Tears of the posterior cruciate ligament can be painful and deserve careful treatment. If you need treatment for a PCL tear in Houston, Cypress or Beaumont, Texas, come to Mufaddal Gombera, MD. Through consistently exceptional care, Dr. Gombera has earned the designation of Texas Super Doctors Rising Star three years in a row.

To book an appointment, call (713) 794-3457 or use the online scheduling form to choose a time and date for your consultation.  

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Arthroscopy Association of North America american shoulder and elbow society international society for hip arthroscopy