Tear > Treatments
If your PCL (posterior cruciate ligament)
tear does not require immediate surgery, your doctor
may recommend rest followed by a physical therapy program.
Anti-inflammatories such as
aspirin or ibuprofen may be recommended or prescribed
to ease the pain and swelling associated with the injury.
A small amount of pain is normal during physical activity,
but if you feel so much pain in your knee to warrant
taking a painkiller before an activity, you should consider
cutting back or stopping. Do not play through the pain
after an PCL injury - it may be a sign that your activity
is putting too much stress on your knee.
doctor will likely suggest that you take it easy for
several days, so it may be wise to clear your schedule
of any physical activities. You probably should not
do the activity that caused the injury.
your doctor will likely recommend applying ice packs
to the knee for 10 or 15 minutes every three or four
hours. You will probably need to do this for two or
three days or until the pain subsides.
elastic wrap or bandage will compress the knee and help
keep the swelling down.
of the injured leg will also help control swelling.
You should be ready to begin physical therapy once
the pain and swelling has subsided and you feel your
knee is stable enough to do exercises.
Strengthening the thigh muscles may
help prevent further knee injury. After up to six months
of rehab, your knee may feel strong but your PCL may
not stabilize your knee as well as it did before the
injury. Remember that many of the exercises and activities
that are popular for fitness put stress on your knees.
Your physician may prescribe a brace
initially to make you more comfortable. However, braces
have not been shown to prevent injuries to the knee
ligaments. In most cases, a brace is not recommended,
though your physician may suggest an immobilizer to
hold the knee straight for up to two weeks. A brace
is more commonly used during physical activities when
certain types of chronic tears exist, but mild tears
the type that normally do not require surgery
usually do not lead to use of a brace.