Posterior cruciate ligament

The posterior cruciate ligament is one of four ligaments that hold the knee in place and provide stability. More specifically, the PCL helps hold the normal position of the femur and tibia, or the thigh bone and leg bone. It holds the leg bone in place so that it doesn't slip over the thigh bone and cause the knee to buckle, lock or collapse. According to Medline Plus, the PCL is the strongest ligament in the knee. An injury to the posterior cruciate ligament may or may not require surgery, depending upon the severity of the injury, age of the patient and other ligaments and cartilage involved. The PCL can be injured by landing on it wrong, falling hard on a bent knee or receiving a direct blow to a flexed knee. The posterior cruciate ligament may be rehabilitated through physical therapy exercises to strengthen the leg muscles around the knee. In the worst cases, according to the University of Kentucky, ligament replacement is the only way to completely repair a PCL injury.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Posterior cruciate ligament

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