Posterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation: how slow should we go?

Outcomes after posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) reconstructive surgery have historically been inferior to outcomes after reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). As such, some surgeons may be reluctant to recommend reconstruction of the PCL. However, recent technologic advances have substantially improved PCL reconstructive surgical outcomes. These advances include better understanding of PCL diagnosis and surgical indications; recognition of the need for repair or reconstruction of associated injuries, especially injuries to the posterolateral and posteromedial corners of the knee; PCL-specific surgical instruments including mechanical tensioning devices to restore anatomic tibial step-off; improved graft fixation techniques including primary and backup methods of fixation; use of strong graft material including advances in the procurement, processing, and usage of allograft tissue; improved surgical techniques; and advances in the understanding of knee ligament structure and biomechanics, resulting in more accurate surgical tunnel placement, achieving anatomic graft insertion sites while minimizing graft bending. Today, PCL reconstructive surgery often results in excellent function with a return to the patient's preinjury level of activity. In contrast to accelerated rehabilitation after ACL reconstructive surgery, slow and deliberate postoperative rehabilitation is recommended to allow early healing to occur after PCL reconstructive surgery.
AuthorsGregory C Fanelli
JournalArthroscopy : the journal of arthroscopic & related surgery : official publication of the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the International Arthroscopy Association (Arthroscopy) Vol. 24 Issue 2 Pg. 234-5 (Feb 2008) ISSN: 1526-3231 [Electronic] United States
PMID18251084 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
  • Braces
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries (rehabilitation)
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (injuries, surgery)
  • Range of Motion, Articular

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