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Author Topic: Complete PCL Tear  (Read 5289 times)

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Offline sunjun

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Complete PCL Tear
« on: August 26, 2005, 10:31:44 PM »
I tore my PCL in the last week of July and the MRI showed that it was complete tear. None of the OS tests initially showed that it was PCL in spite of MRI. There was no sagging of the tibia. He made a hammer out of his fist and banged on my tibia which gave me excruciating pain.  The OS suggested PT for 4 weeks and I will be seeing him soon. Current PT involves lots of quads strengthening, hamstrings, glutes and other stabilizer muscles.

I am relatively an active person with lots of aggressive sports like Karate (lots of kicking), soccer, cricket(english sport), running etc. and once in a while when move my left leg(injured one) laterally, it gives me immence pain at the joint and I am left holding my knee tightly to get over the pain.

The concern I have is with a complete tear, and just doing PT, am I going to get back to my original active life?

Thanks a lot and I appreciate the forum quite a bit as it eased some of the concerns I had.

-S

Offline sunjun

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Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2005, 10:46:18 PM »
I forgot to add that from the past 3 days, I am able to run in a straight line at relatively faster speed...but i know for a fact that my knee would give away if stop on that knee or laterally cut. I am not sure what going on and from other PCL posts, seems like lack of experience in PCL recon, is discouraging docs from
doing the graft??

-S

Offline SKOM

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Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2005, 05:08:05 AM »
Hi Sunjun.

Q: "The concern I have is with a complete tear, and just doing PT, am I going to get back to my original active life?"


That depends.....

The PCL is a secondary stabilizer to the knee; ACL being primary. It's all a comfort level to you. Some people function ok without their PCL as it's dictated by your lifestyle. You sound active so it's a crap shoot. Any time you injury your knee to this extent, it will never be normal again in clinical terms. See how it goes with the PT? Sounds like your in good shape already!

P.S. PCL are relativley rare injuries. Most OS are only a novice at them at best with uncertain outcomes. Alot has to do the the complexity of location and function within the knee. It has been said because of this, PCL advancements are generally 10 years behind ACL break throughs. Adding, plenty of successes are out there!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2005, 06:20:04 PM by SKOM »
ACL/PCL Reconstruction (96)
Partial Medial Meniscectomy (03)
Post Lateral Corner reinforcement (too help with Laxity issues) (03)
Partial Lateral Meniscectomy (05)
ACL/PCL Revision (05) Hamstring, Achilles Allografts.

Leader of the "Lax" Knee Clan!

Offline sunjun

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Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2005, 08:27:19 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement.
After my OS visit 2 weeks ago, the doc suggested me to wear a PCL brace GII Paradigm "http://www.ossur.com/template110.asp?pageid=1727". That brace is helping out while playing cricket/soccer/tennis.  I played in a cricket league match last weekend and did alright.  Other than bruising and discomfort, I was alright wearing that brace and running. Knee gave in only 'once' during the game and was slightly swollen that night. On any day, I would take the bruising from the brace to sitting at home.

I have stepped up my PT resulting in walking with sour quads instead of knee :). I am hoping to get back to Karate next week and I am positive that occasional give-ins would eventually stop.

-S

Offline dreslough

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Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2005, 01:38:02 AM »
I completely tore my PCL in July of _2004_. Your OS is correct that it's a rare injury. Mine actually took four months to diagnose because none of the physical tests revealed anything (similar to your experience).

Over a year later, I'm doing pretty well without surgery. My OS (a very good one IMHO who's kept my Dad active in sports well into his 60's) says he doesn't have much confidence with PCL surgery -- it is indeed way behind ACL surgery.

I'm "only" 34, and therefore I think the rest of my knee is in decent shape and it's holding everything together. My knee is sore as I sit here and the computer, and it gets pretty sore after I play Ultimate Frisbee (similar to soccer in terms of running and exertion, but less kicking). But I'm just treating with NSAIDs, and there's no swelling. There is an occasional feeling of it PARTIALLY giving way, but no serious instability. I wear a drugstore knee brace. The bigger brace I was given by my OS was far too bulky for sports IMHO.

I'd say my activity level is 95% of what it was before the injury. So until I do something really bad to it -- I'm going to try to avoid surgery.

Clay

Offline SmplySweet1021

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Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2005, 05:51:11 AM »
Hey! Two months ago I had a PCL reconstruction (Achilles tendon allograft) and an LCL reconstruction (Hamstring). I originally had the accident in March by being kicked by a horse during a horse show. The first doctor said there was nothing wrong and said I was fine. Finally after 3 months we got a second MRI and he said "can't see your PCL but i'm sure it's fine) during this time I was also doing PT with a ton of pain. Went for a second opionion and got a 95% sure PCL was gone. Went to my third doctor and he said you MUST have surgery asap because your knee is not stable. I had my PCL totally gone and I didn't know about my LCL till I was in recovery. Two months later I'm feeling amazing and the PT is really helping.

The reason I told you my story is because I'm a 20yr old avid horseback rider. I ride for two teams and compete throughout the year, my knee is a crucial part for me. You said you were active and that your doctor said it was a complete tear but hasn't done surgery yet confuses me. I rode after my first doctor said I was fine, I would get off the horse crying and holding my knee in pain. My third doctor, did surgery, said I MUST have surgery, there would be NO WAY that I would be able to continue to ride and even walk without pain. Before surgery my knee was buckling (a key PCL tear sign) and when I would walk I could just fall down because my knee would give out.

I know I'm just 20 and don't know everything about your situation but I suggest you find another doctor that is familiar in PCL tears. My second opinion knew the signs of the tear but said he wasn't comfortable operatiing so he sent me to Dr. Johnson at the University of Kentucky for my surgery. Dr. Johnson is the doctor in my area with the most knowledge of my injury. He said that PCL tears are rare but serious. I am hoping that you have some good doctors in the area that you can go for for a second opinion and hopefully find a competent doctor that is willing to operate so that you can return to a normal and pain free life.

I was very worried before surgery but truthfully I'm so glad that I had surgery. Let me know if you have any questions!
2005 - Blown PCL & LCL due to Riding Accident, Surgery to repair
2006 - New Surgeon due to Problems
2007 Scope & 2 non dissolving screws still in knee
Supartz, Synvisc, Cortisone injections- Didn't Work :-(
Grade 3 Osteoarthritis at 24 yrs old

Offline stevew

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  • PCL Recon (Patellar tendon) 1987
    • Horse-Lake Farm
Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2005, 06:33:50 PM »
I had a PCL Reconstruction (Bone-Tendon_Bone) done in 1987. Since then I have had 2 arthroscopies to release scar tissue, and 2 scopes to repair torn cartlidge. I spent 4 of the hardest years of my life rehabbing my knee. I was "only" 29 at the time, and had a promising powerlifting career ahead of me, so I decided FOR the surgery. I eventually made what I considered a GREAT recovery, squatting 507 lbs and deadlifting 534 lbs at a bodyweight of 181 lbs. I am now 47 years old, and have stopped lifting, because BOTH my knees just hurt and I really don't want knee replacement surgery. I am still very active, being a horse trainer (Clydesdales) and a horse shoer as well. I am not able to run at all anymore, it just hurts too much. If I wear my DonJoy brace, I can still play fastpitch softball. My advice to anyone thinking of getting a PCL reconstruction done.....you BETTER have the guts to get through rehab....if you short the rehab, you WILL fail. If you try to come back too fast...you WILL fail.

Offline kendra

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Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2005, 08:29:34 PM »
hey, I'm sorry to hear about your injury.  I recently ruptured my PCL and MCL and tore both menisci in a horse accident.  My knee moves in odd directions now.  I've come to realize there is hardly any info on PCL reconstruction as it is relatively new.  I suggest checking out the website of Dr. Noyes at Cinncinatti Sports Medicine Clinic (or something like that - you can google it).  My doctor has been practicing this technique for a couple years now with good success so, even though I'm not totally looking forward to getting cut open and drilled into, I'm looking forward to getting my life back.

Good luck to getting yours back too -
11/6/05 Grade 3 tear PCL/MCL in horse accident, tore both menisci
12/15/05 PCL/MCL recons, menisci fixed
3/28/06 Finally over the hump in rehab, things are lookin' good!

Offline catcher12

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Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2006, 03:52:18 AM »
Hello all,

First of all I want to thank all of you for sharing your stories and insight.  In times when we are feeling left than perfect it is great to be ableto turn to people who are either in teh same or simlar situation.  Now; my story.

Both of my knees have bothered me for a while.  I was a catcher all the way through college and also rowed crew, so I abused my knees a bit.  I have arthritis in both knees and have had surgery on my right knee already (torn meniscus)  I hurt my left knee 3 weks ago playing softball.  I was playing 3rd base and dove for a ball to my left.  as I fell, my left kinee hit the ground in a flexed position.  MRI results showed torn meniscus and a completely torn PCL.  The OS that I went to initially basically tried to talk me out of surgery.  He said that it is a very difficult procedure and that I was better not having it done.  He wants to just repair the torn meniscus and leave it at that.  I am torn ([ardon the pun) as to what to do.  It still hurts a lot and I am still having issues straightening it completely and bending it.  Iam planning to speak to another OS for a second opinion, and I wanted to get some feedback from this community.  I also want to know what limitts this injury will have on my activity level if I don't repair the PCL, as well as how much this will contribute to my current arthritic condition.

I thank you all in advance.


Offline zengirl

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Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2006, 09:58:07 AM »
I am positive that occasional give-ins would eventually stop.

Unfortunately I don't think this will happen. Why would it? Once broken always broken. If it's ruptured I believe you'll always be at risk of "disloations." It's horrible but true.
Feb '03 Ladies badminton, bad fall, detached ACL
May '06 - ACL reconstruction & meniscus repair
Complications - swelling, pain, lack of flexion/extension, 50% graft failure
Jan '07 Arthoscopy, debride, removal of adhesions & 50% of graft
Attempting to rebuild muscles so can continue sport & life

Offline hockeygirl4

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Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2006, 06:56:11 PM »
I've been reading through all the PCL posts and I have become confused all over again.  Here is my new question:

When you tear your PCL, how is it possible to still run/and or walk?  My MRI from 2003 showed a complete tear that was sustained in 1997 (yes, my doctors ignored me for that long) and at the time of the injury, I could not bear ANY weight on my injured leg whatsoever for about six weeks so I'm baffled at how you people can run or walk just a few weeks after tearing it.
When my OS read the MRI report, it said normal, but upon seeing the films, he saw my PCL was torn.  Second question, is, why would he recommend me for PT when the injury was already 6 years old? Is that because Surgery was not an option? I play ice hockey 3 times a week during winter, coed softball 3 times a week during summer, volleyball every other Saturday, and I work out on non-sport days, so I do not understand the reasoning behind the PT.  Am i just going to be stuck with a torn PCL for the rest of my life?

Grade I/II PCL tear - conservative treatment and stabilizing brace for sports

Offline Leigh55

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Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2006, 08:51:23 PM »
6 years ago I suffered from a PCL tear and a tibial plateau fracture while running hurdles in track.  My doctor at the time didnt believe in doing PCL reconstruction and as I have talked to about 4 doctors since then--many dont.  HOWEVER, the common thing I heard from all the different doctors I have seen is that the PCL alone being torn is something you can deal with, strenghtening muscles around it with rehab, etc.  Anyway, after my first doctor said I should recover moderately, I decided to continue running, now it is buckeling with pain and swelling.  The new consensus was that in addition to the PCL I damaged my LCL, which is a combination that all 3 surgeons told me that I HAD to fix if I wanted to continue living my life actively.  They said that many doctors overlook the LCL being a problem but when you have a injury to the PCL, especially through hyperextension it can occur.  So, next week I am getting a new PCL and LCL in order to stabilize my knee, hopefully it works out!!
I too was told that PCL injuries are rare ...(all the doctors in the office messed with my knee because they dont get to see them as often as ACL problems)

So I feel for all of you with these issues!

Offline Audice

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Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2006, 09:56:58 PM »
Although I don't have a PCL tear, I'd doubt seriously your knee will ever be "normal" w/o repair. The farther I get from the original injury, the more I realize my knee is vulnerable & every little misstep compounds the problems. Better to repair if you can...Ellie
April, 2005 - ACL rupture, medial meniscus tear within posterior horn to articular surface, abnormal signal within lateral meniscus, partial tear MCL, bone contusions tibia/fibula, Baker's cyst.
No repairs.

Offline Valkyrie

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Re: Complete PCL Tear
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2006, 12:24:03 PM »
All - I tore my PCL partially in June 06.  I too am trying to figure the whole thing out.  The PT is helping with my ROM, and the quads are strengthening up nicely.  My Doc won't even discuss surgery until I've been in PT for 6 months.

I would say get a second opinion and trust how you feel.  If doing something hurts or feels really nstable, don't do it.

I'm trying to completely avoid surgery, so anyone that has sucessfully rehabed a partial PCL tear, please some insight on how long and what kind of program you were on. 
Partial PCL Tear Right Knee
Occurred June 2006
Currently working on Thighs of Steel!