Posterior cruciate ligament injury may involve an intrasubstance tear (complete or incomplete) or an avulsion from the bone.

injury to cruciate ligaments
hyperextension injury


What is the usual mechanism of injury of the posterolateral corner?

The PCL may become injured when there is a severe backwards blow to the upper tibia when the knee is bent. The classical is a 'dashboard' injury, such as when a car stops abruptly and the passenger is driven forwards and hits the knee on the dashboard. It may also happen if a person falls suddenly onto a bent knee.

A further mechanism of injury is when a blow drives the knee joint backwards (hyper-extension).


How common are injuries to the posterior cruciate ligament?

Injuries to the posterior cruciate ligament are less frequent than those of the anterior cruciate, because it requires a greater force to tear the ligament or pull it from the bone.


What are the symptoms of a torn posterior cruciate ligament?

Symptoms of a tear include:

  • pain at the time of injury, which is not always severe
  • swelling of the knee which again is sometimes tense but not always so
  • instability with a limp and feelings of 'giving way'.


PCL injury

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