Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injuries Information

Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injuries


The PCL is fan-shaped, being narrowest in the mid-portion and fanning out superiorly and, to a lesser extent, inferiorly. The PCL originates on the posterior surface of the tibia and passessuperiorly and anteromedially to insert on the lateral wall of the medial femoral condyle. The PCL consists of a larger anterior band, which is taut in flexion and relaxed in extension, and a smaller posterior band, which is taut in extension and relaxed in flexion.

The main role of the PCL is to prevent anterior displacement (forward movement) of the femur on the tibia, eg prevent hyperflexion.

Anatomy: Knee - Injury: Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injuries Information

Mechanism of Injury

  • A posteriorly directed force blow to the anterior proximal surface of the tibia (just under the kneecap) in a flexed knee.
  • Hyperflexion eg. fall onto a flexed knee.
  • Sudden, unexpected hyperextension of the knee.


  • Poorly localised, generally posterior knee pain.
  • Mild hemarthrosis (blood in the joint).
  • Increased pain and feeling of instability with flexion of the knee beyond 90°.


Please consult with your medical professional for a complete diagnosis and treatment plan.

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