Posterior cruciate ligament injury happens far less often than does injury to the knee's better known counterpart, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The posterior cruciate ligament and ACL help to hold your knee together. If either ligament is torn, you may experience 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.
While 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.
Mar. 01, 2014
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- Posterior cruciate ligament injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00420. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- Knee sprains and meniscal injuries. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries_poisoning/fractures_dislocations_and_sprains/knee_sprains_and_meniscal_injuries.html?qt=posterior cruciate ligament&alt=sh. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- Beutler A, et al. Physical examination of the knee. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- Papadakis MA, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2013. 52nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.