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Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury Physiotherapy



Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury is a painful knee injury that happens when one of the ligaments on the inside of the knee is overstretched. Only 3% to 20% of knee ligament injuries are PCL injuries (most of the time, it tends to be either meniscal tears or anterior cruciate ligament ACL tears).

Accidents, such as hitting the knee against the dashboard during a car collision, or falling onto a bent knee, are common causes of PCL injuries but forceful straightening of the knee can also injure the PCL.

Athletes who play sports, such as football and soccer, and skiers can experience PCL injuries.

A newer source of PCL injury is the trend among dancers to land on the front of their shinbone from a high leap.

Our senior physiotherapists treat PCL injuries to help

Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is a thick band of tissue deep inside the knee that connects our thigh bone (femur bone) to the shin bone (tibia bone).

What the PCL does is that it prevents our shin bone from sliding too far backward under the thigh bone. Any force that pushes the shinbone backward under the thighbone can cause a PCL injury.

Typical PCL injuries are

  • stretched (strain)
  • partially torn or
  • completely torn (100% rupture)

Knee injuries that tear the PCL often damage other ligaments or cartilage in the knee. In fact, a PCL injury can also break a piece of bone loose within the knee. PCL injuries can either happen quickly—with a blunt force injury to the knee—or slowly, as the ligament is stressed over time.

How Does a posterior cruciate ligament injury Feel like?

With an injured PCL, you may experience:

  • Sharp or dull pain deep inside the knee joint or the back of the knee
  • Pain in the knee when lifting a heavy load
  • Pain when walking longer distances
  • Swelling throughout the knee 
  • Joint stiffness in the knee 
  • A wobbly feeling in the knee 
  • Difficulty walking on the injured leg
  • Difficulty going up or down stairs
  • Difficulty when starting to run

PCL injuries sometimes do not cause a "popping" sound or sensation when they first occur, and for that reason, people may not be sure of the exact time of their injury.

How Is It Diagnosed?

If you see our senior physiotherapists first, we will conduct a thorough evaluation that includes taking your health history.

We will also ask you detailed questions about your injury, such as:

  • How and when did you notice the pain?
  • Did you feel pain or hear a "pop" when you injured your knee?
  • Did your knee straighten out very quickly, past its normal position?
  • Did your knee get forcefully bent, past its normal position?
  • Did you receive a direct hit to the leg while the knee was bent?
  • Did you fall on a bent knee with the foot pointed downward?
  • Did you see swelling around the knee in the first 2 to 3 hours following the injury? 
  • Does your knee feel like it is wobbling, locking, catching, buckling, or giving away when you try to use it?

We also will perform special tests to help determine the likelihood that you have a PCL injury.

We will gently press on the front of your knee to determine if the ligament feels loose, and may perform additional tests to determine if other parts of your knee are injured. We will also observe how you are walking (if the joint is stable or not, if there is limping or not, balance etc).

To provide a definitive diagnosis, we may collaborate with an orthopedic physician or other health care provider, who may order further tests, such as an x-ray, to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other damage to the knee, including

how our senior physiotherapists can help you

We will work with you to design a specific treatment program that will speed your recovery, including exercises you can do at home. Physical therapy will help you return to your normal lifestyle and activities. The time it takes to heal the condition varies, but improvement is generally noted over 4 to 12 weeks.

During the first 24 to 48 hours following your injury, we may advise you to:

  • Rest your knee by using crutches or a brace, reducing the amount of weight you put on your injured leg, and avoiding any activity that causes pain.
  • Apply cold therapy to the area for 15– to 20 minutes every 2 hours.
  • Consult with a physician for further services such as medication or diagnostic tests.

Your physical therapist will work with you over time to:

Reduce Pain and Reduce Swelling

We may use a variety of treatments and technologies to control and reduce your pain and decrease knee swelling, which may include

Improve Motion

We will choose specific activities and treatments to help restore normal movement in the knee and leg. These might begin with passive motions that your physical therapist performs for you to gently move your leg and knee joint, and progress to active exercises and stretches that you do yourself.

Improve Flexibility

We will determine if any of your leg muscles or knee joint are tight, and teach you how to stretch them with gentle exercise.

Improve Strength

Certain exercises will aid healing at each stage of recovery; we will choose and teach you the correct exercises and equipment to steadily restore your strength and agility.

These may include the use of

  • cuff weights
  • stretch bands
  • weight-lifting equipment and
  • cardio-exercise equipment, such as treadmills or stationary bicycles

Improve Balance

Regaining your sense of balance is important after an injury. We will teach you exercises to improve your balance skills.

Restore Agility

Speed and accuracy of leg movement is important in athletic activities. We will help you regain these skills in preparation for a return to sports activities.

Speed Recovery Time

We're trained and experienced in choosing the best treatments and exercises to help you heal, return to your normal lifestyle, and reach your goals faster than you are likely to do on your own.

We will work with you to set your work, sport, and home-life recovery goals. Your treatment program will help you reach those goals in the safest, fastest, and most effective way possible.

We will teach you

  • exercises
  • work retraining activities and
  • sport-specific techniques and drills to help you return to your regular activities

If Surgery Is Necessary

Surgery is not usually required to treat a mild PCL injury. However, it may be needed if:

  • The PCL is completely torn
  • A piece of bone has broken loose
  • There are other ligament injuries
  • You constantly feel like your knee is going to buckle beneath you (knee joint instability)

Athletes may elect to undergo surgical replacement of the PCL to improve the stability of the knee during sports activities. If other parts of the knee are injured at the same time as the PCL, you may need different treatment for those injuries, including surgery.

If surgery is needed, you will follow a recovery program over several weeks guided by our senior  physiotherapists who will help you

  • minimize pain
  • regain motion
  • regain strength and
  • return to normal activities in the speediest manner possible


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book your physio appointment or enquire now

Email questions and your preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +6588001830

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here

Phoenix Rehab physio Services

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.



HAND THERAPY &  SPLINTING

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CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES

Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.

It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.



TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)



DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY

Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to

  • accelerate recovery and
  • shorten downtime / recovery period required

It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance.

Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.



ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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We appreciate you as our valued clients and want you to know that the #1 way we grow as a clinic/brand is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.

We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

book your physio appointment or enquire now

Email questions and your preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +6588001830

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here