Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries (PCL)

Surgical Treatment of Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries (PCL)

Surgical Treatment of Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries (PCL) involves surgical repair or reconstruction of the PCL. This may involve autografts or allografts. Several factors can influence the choice of the reconstruction technique, including the patient’s age, the degree of the injury, and the type of tissue in which the PCL is injured.


Several surgical techniques are used to treat PCL injuries. These include arthroscopically assisted DB PCLR, SB PCLR, and a tibial inlay procedure. However, the literature lacks level-I evidence to support these methods. Therefore, future long-term studies are necessary. These studies are needed to determine whether DB PCLR or SB PCLR is more clinically beneficial.

The PCL is a very complex ligament. It has been reported to have a greater role in rotational stability than previously thought. It is also known to play a significant role in determining knee kinematics. Injuries may occur through a variety of mechanisms, including sports, sports-related activities, and simply a misstep. The recovery period depends on the severity of the injury. It typically takes six to twelve months to heal.

Research on cruciate ligament injuries has led to the development of several operative procedures. It is important to understand the anatomy of the PCL and the other ligaments in the knee. Using these procedures, clinicians can evaluate the knee for instability. Some of the techniques include a posterior tibial drawer test, a KT-1000 arthrometer, and a posterior sag sign. These tests are sensitive and specific and are often used as a diagnostic tool for a PCL injury.

A tibial inlay procedure involves placing a graft into the PCL and reconstructing the tibial tunnel. The tibial inlay technique has been described as being superior to an SB PCLR in terms of functional outcome scores. The tibial inlay technique is also associated with a longer surgery time.

DB PCLR is an emerging treatment option. It has been shown to have comparable functional outcomes to anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. It also has been shown to be more effective on objective stress radiographs. It has been shown to have less residual PTT than the SB PCLR. It has also been reported to have superior IKDC.


DB PCL-R vs SB PCL-R for posterior cruciate ligament injuries is a controversial topic. The literature has not yet provided adequate evidence for a definitive answer. However, recent research has identified increased graft stresses and other factors that affect kinematics. Understanding these issues will help to improve surgical algorithms.

DB PCL-R provides greater rotation stability. This is achieved through restraint of the PTT. The ALB and PMB are co-dominant in their behavior. In flexion, the PMB is fixed in full extension while the ALB is fixed at 90° with the anterior drawer. This synergistic relationship of the attachments is crucial to the kinematics of the knee.

Anatomical reconstructions have evolved over the years due to an improved understanding of the mechanics of the knee. The primary role of the PCL is to stabilize the tibia in posterior tibial translation. The ALB has a larger role in restricting posterior translation in flexion. This is the main posterior tibial translation resistance between 0 and 15 degrees of flexion.

Biomechanical studies indicate that double-bundle PCL reconstructions are more effective in restoring knee kinematics. In single bundle reconstructions, it is difficult to restore native kinematics. Therefore, anatomic double-bundle PCLR has been developed. This type of reconstruction has been shown to have a higher rate of survival and improved patient-reported outcomes.

DB PCLR is emerging as an alternative treatment option. It is superior to SB PCLR and has better outcomes. The DB procedure has improved postoperative objective and functional assessment scores, especially International Knee Document Committee (IKDC) scores.

Although the literature does not provide level I evidence for the superiority of DB PCLR over SB PCL-R for posterior cruciate injuries, future studies should examine the differences between the two techniques.

Reconstruction with autografts or allografts

Among the available options for reconstruction of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) are autografts and allografts. Allografts are harvested from the cadaver tissue of an organ donor, while autografts are harvested from the tissue of an individual. However, allografts are more expensive than autografts, and their failure rates are higher. The choice of graft is dependent upon the surgeon’s experience.

An ACL injury can be caused by a variety of different factors. Some of the most common types of grafts include hamstring and BPTB autografts. ACL reconstruction using these grafts has been shown to produce good clinical outcomes. The decision to use an allograft or an autograft for ACL reconstruction should be based on the surgeon’s experience and the patient’s needs.

Patients who received an autograft for reconstruction had shorter surgical times and fewer complications. However, the allograft group also experienced a higher risk of re-rupture, which is not desirable. They had a higher incidence of numbness around the incision.

The allograft group showed a 5.2-fold higher rate of graft rupture than hamstring autografts. The grafts were more reactive in the first 6 months. The allografts were not associated with a lower overall IKDC score, but patients reported a higher degree of subjective improvement after the graft.

Allografts are not recommended for primary ACL reconstruction. They are better suited for revision surgery. They require a longer time to heal and are more likely to re-rupture. ACL reconstruction with an allograft may be more appropriate in patients with multiple ligament injuries.

The use of an allograft for ACL reconstruction can minimize the risk of infection and harvest site morbidity. Compared with an autograft, an allograft is more expensive and takes longer to mature.

Comparison of demographic characteristics and concomitant injury patterns in patients undergoing PCL reconstruction

Identifying risk factors is the first step to preventing PCL rupture. Previous research has pointed out the common occurrence of concurrent PCL and PLC tears. However, these studies were conducted in non-Swedish populations, and therefore, are not necessarily generalizable to the population in Sweden. Using the Swedish Knee Reconstruction Registry (SNKLR) to study the incidence of concomitant injuries in patients with PCL and ACL tears may provide valuable information.

The SNKLR is a nationwide database that includes surgeon-reported data on operatively treated ACL and PCL tears. It is a prospective, registry-based study that covers 90% of all ACL reconstructions performed in Sweden annually. The registry is also designed to prospectively collect surgeon-reported information on injury mechanisms, patient-reported EQ-5D scores, and intraoperative findings. In addition, it has a detailed record of the concomitant injuries in each individual patient. This allows for a reliable comparison of the epidemiology of operatively managed PCL and ACL tears.

In this study, 487 patients with PCL and ACL tears were included. The sample was composed of recreational athletes. The most common sports disciplines were football and basketball. The injury mechanism was most frequently reported as sports-related activities. The most common type of cruciate ligament tear was avulsion fracture.

In total, 45,564 patients underwent primary cruciate ligament reconstruction in the SNKLR. In a multivariate analysis, age was not a significant predictor of concomitant injuries. The aLPD and LPW were significant predictors of an ACL lesion in a logistic regression model. The most appropriate cutoff points for detecting an ACL lesion were 5.7 mm and 209.5 mm2, respectively. These values had a sensitivity of 75.5% and 66.7%, respectively.

The SNKLR includes a large number of patients, which makes the registry an ideal source of information on the epidemiology of operatively treated ACL and PCL injuries in Sweden. A comprehensive understanding of the intraarticular injury patterns in these patients may be useful in determining the potential for a more effective strategy for the prevention and treatment of PCL and ACL injuries.

Revision PCL-R

Surgical treatment for posterior cruciate ligament injuries represents a challenging procedure. There is a wide range of viable treatment options, and the decision to proceed with an operation is determined by many factors. The type of trauma, the severity of the injury, and the timing of the injury are important factors to consider.

The onset of the PCL injury and the mechanism of the injury can be evaluated to help make treatment decisions. A comprehensive diagnostic work-up should include MRI and CT scans. A detailed clinical examination should also be performed. Stress radiographs should be obtained to evaluate the degree of knee laxity and damage to other lower limb ligaments. The results of the stress radiographs can be used to assess postoperative outcomes.

Recent biomechanical studies have demonstrated that the individual bundles of the PCL have a length change pattern. The posteromedial bundle has more horizontal fibers in flexion, while the anterior bundle has more vertical fibers in flexion. These fibers are connected together through a medial intercondylar notch.

A revision PCL-R can be a challenging procedure because the alteration of native anatomy is involved. However, in recent years, anatomical studies have improved the understanding of the function of the PCL and the various anatomical structures that comprise it. In addition, advanced imaging techniques have been developed to aid in the surgical treatment of PCL injuries.

The use of quadriceps tendon-bone autografts for revision PCL-R has been shown to produce a significantly higher level of patient-reported outcomes. In addition, a higher rate of occupational recovery was observed.

A revision PCL-R may be necessary when a patient has suffered an acute grade III injury, or a previous PCL-R fails. A corrective osteotomy may also require a staged revision PCL-R.

Health Sources:

Health A to Z. (n.d.).

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.).

Directory Health Topics. (n.d.).

Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health.

Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z.

Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.).

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is a Healthy Home Remedies Writer for Home Remedy Lifestyle! With over 10 years of experience, I've helped countless people find natural solutions to their health problems. At Home Remedy Lifestyle, we believe that knowledge is power. I am dedicated to providing our readers with trustworthy, evidence-based information about home remedies and natural medical treatments. I love finding creative ways to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle on a budget! It is my hope to empower our readers to take control of their health!

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