When to Have PCL Surgery
Dr. Boykin usually recommends surgical reconstruction of the PCL only for complete (grade III) PCL tears. A PCL reconstruction involves removing the damaged ligament and reconstructing a new ligament with a graft. For the PCL, the graft is usually donated tissue (known as an allograft) that is the same size and shape as the original PCL ligament. The new ligament formed by the graft is held in place with a combination of specialized screws and staples. Dr. Boykin performs the procedure arthroscopically using a camera, small incisions, and specialized instruments.
Recovery Following PCL Reconstruction
Physical therapy is a very important part of the recovery process after a PCL reconstruction. A detailed program begins immediately after surgery and progresses to range of motion and eventually strengthening of the knee. Following surgery, a brace is required for six months to prevent gravity from stretching out the reconstructed ligament. Initially, patients cannot place weight on their leg and must use crutches for 6 weeks. Strengthening begins after the patient is off crutches, and running and pivoting sports are initiated around 6-9 months depending on the progression with therapy.
For additional information on ligament injuries of the knee, or to learn more about PCL reconstruction surgery, please contact the office of sports medicine specialist and orthopedic knee surgeon, Dr. Robert Boykin who treats patients in the Asheville, Arden, Fletcher and surrounding North Carolina communities.