PCL Tear

By: Pranav Tetali

What is a PCL Tear?

A PCL otherwise known as the Posterior Cruciate Ligament is a ligament in the knee similar to the ACL. The PCL is connects the femur bone to the tibia and it helps support the tibia from moving backwards. PCL tears are very rare but can happen, only 20% of knee injuries are PCL tears. Damaging the PCL ligament damages cartilage and various other ligaments.

PCL grade types

PCL tear grade 1- The PCL has a partial tear, it can be cured with rest and frequent icing

PCL tear grade 2- The PCL is loose and the ligament is partially torn it can be cured with 1 to 2 weeks of rest and ice

PCL tear grade 3- the PCL is completely torn and knee becomes unstable, it can be cured with mandatory rest, might need surgery, physical movement must be a minimum

PCL tear grade 4- The PCL and other ligaments are torn, surgery is required

How do PCL tears happen?

Most Pcl tears occur when one falls on the knee when bent or struck unusually. PCL tears occur for athletes who play football, soccer, baseball, and skiing.
Kendrick Perkins Injury his Knee reaching a rebound with Bynum Lakers vs Celtics Nba The Finals

Symptoms of a PCL Tear

Most people do not hear or feel a popping sensation which is common with ACL injuries. Most symptoms will be swelling, knee pain, wobbly sensation in knees, and trouble walking or bearing weight on knees. After hard hits to the knee many athletes think its a minor injury, if gone untreated it will cause other problems with the knees and surgery would be required.


  • protect the knee from further injury
  • rest the knee
  • ice the knee for short periods of time
  • compress the knee, for example with elastic bands
  • elevate the knee
Grade 1 and 2 injuries do not require surgery but physical therapy is required.

physical therapy consists of:

  • using a knee brace
  • using crutches
  • moving leg through a range of motions
  • gradually start running or walking

Grade 3 requires surgery, this is due to the fact that, other ligaments were injured, pieces of bone were torn off or chronic PCL lossness.

surgery can be done invasively or even open.


  • tissue is taken from a diseased donor and the ligament is replaced
  • the ligament can also be replaced from the back of the thigh or heel
PCL Tear - "Common Sports Injuries"


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