Symptoms of PCL Injury
Most people don’t feel or hear a “popping” sensation in the knee after a PCL injury. This is more common with an injury to the ACL.
After a PCL injury, people often think they only have a minor knee problem. They may try to go on with their usual activities. However, symptoms that can develop include:
- Swelling (mild to severe)
- Knee pain
- Wobbly sensation in the knee
- Trouble walking or bearing weight on the knee
Over time, a PCL tear can lead to osteoarthritis in the knee.
Diagnosing PCL Problems
To diagnose a PCL injury, a doctor may take these steps:
- If your knee was bent, straight, or twisted when it was injured
- How your knee felt after the injury
- If you’ve had any symptoms since you were injured
Physical examination. In a common test for PCL injuries, you lie on your back with your knee bent. Your doctor then examines your knee and presses against your upper shin. Abnormal knee movement during this test suggests a PCL injury.
You may also be checked with a device called an arthrometer. This presses against your leg to measure the ligament’s tightness.
Your doctor may also ask you to walk. An abnormal walking motion may point to a PCL injury.
Imaging. X-rays can provide information about a PCL injury. They can detect pieces of bone that may have broken loose from the injury.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a common way to create images of a PCL tear. An MRI can find the exact location of a tear.
With chronic PCL injuries, a bone scan may be needed to look for damage to the bones.