Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury is a partial or complete tear of the ligament in the back of your knee. Ligaments are strong tissues that connect bones together. The PCL connects the tibia (shin bone) to the femur (thigh bone). The PCL stops the tibia from sliding too far backward or forward and keeps the knee stable.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine may decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your primary healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a doctor's order for medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Rest your knee as much as possible so that it can heal. Return to normal activities as directed.
You may need a splint or knee brace to limit your movement and protect your knee. You may need to use crutches to help decrease your pain as you move around.
You may need to see a physical therapist to teach you special exercises. These exercises help improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease your risk for loss of function.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your toes are cold or numb.
- Your knee becomes more weak or unstable.
- Your pain has increased or returned, even after taking your pain medicine.
- Your swelling has increased or returned.
- Your symptoms are not getting better.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.