What is a Combined PCL and PLC Knee Ligament Injury

Dr. Jordan Leith, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, discusses Combined PCL PLC Knee Ligament Injury and surgical options.

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Dr. Jordan Leith, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, discusses Combined PCL PLC Knee Ligament Injury and surgical options.
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Dr. Jordan Leith, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Sport Med Orthopedic Surgeon

A combined posterior cruciate ligament, posterior lateral corner injury is a significant knee injury that occurs in trauma such as motor vehicle accidents and athletic injuries. It’s more significant than an anterior cruciate ligament, than a meniscus tear, than a posterior cruciate ligament injury in isolate.

And what it involves, looking at a model of the knee, you have your kneecap, you’ve got your femur or your thighbone. You’ve got your tibia, your shinbone. You’ve got the lateral side of the knee, and you’ve got the medial side of the knee.

And looking into the knee, we’ve got the anterior cruciate ligament, which passes from medial to lateral, and behind it, we’ve got the posterior cruciate ligament, which can be seen just behind the ACL, passing from lateral to medial.

Looking from the back of the knee, you can see the posterior cruciate ligament passing form lateral to medial. In addition, the posterior lateral corner component of this injury involves the lateral side of the knee.

On the lateral side of the knee, you’ve got the lateral collateral ligament passing from the fibula, the small bone on the outside part of your knee, up to the femur. There are a number of other structures in this posterior lateral corner, which include the popliteus tendon, and a popliteal fibular ligament.

When you injure this posterior lateral corner, it is all stretched out or ruptured, depending on the degree of the injury. And as a result, you have more instability and rotatory instability to the knee with this injury.

Because they’re a higher energy injury, usually you should go to the emergency department first. It’s usually pretty obvious that you’ve got a significant injury. And so going to the emergency department first, probably obtaining a knee brace to help stabilize you initially in the acute period, followed by physiotherapy to help get your range of motion back.

Consultation with your family doctor, followed by a referral to an orthopedic surgeon would be the algorithm for treatment of this more significant knee injury.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a PCL posterior lateral corner injury, seek consultation with your family doctor or get a referral to an orthopedic surgeon.

Presenter: Dr. Jordan Leith, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Burnaby, BC

Local Practitioners: Orthopaedic Surgeon

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.