Overview

Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury happens far less often than does injury to the knee's more vulnerable counterpart, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The posterior cruciate ligament and ACL connect your thighbone (femur) to your shinbone (tibia). If either ligament is torn, it might cause pain, swelling and a feeling of instability.

Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that attach one bone to another. The cruciate (KROO-she-ate) ligaments connect the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). The anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments form an "X" in the center of the knee.

Although a posterior cruciate ligament injury generally causes less pain, disability and knee instability than does an ACL tear, it can still sideline you for several weeks or months.

Nov. 15, 2016
References
  1. Frontera WR. Posterior cruciate ligament sprain. In: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 30, 2016.
  2. Posterior cruciate ligament injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00420. Accessed Sept. 29, 2016.
  3. MacDonald J. Posterior cruciate ligament injury. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 29, 2016.