Dr. Harner describes the symptoms a patient with a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) would experience.
You have to divide it into the acute, or the immediate injury, and then the chronic. Acute injury, they get swelling, pain, and stiffness. That usually resolves over time, and then they begin to get their motion back.
If it’s a severe tear of the PCL, or what we call a grade 3, a complete tear, then they will feel instability of the knee. They will actually feel the tibia sliding back and forth, so that would be one of the symptoms.
Most isolated PCL injured knees, that means just the PCL is torn, nothing else, are grade 1 or 2 injuries and they don’t have that many symptoms with them. If they undergo physical therapy, they usually do not need anything else done.
About Dr. Harner, M.D.:
Dr. Christopher D. Harner, M.D., is a Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania Professor, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Medical Director, and works in the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.