If you injure just your posterior cruciate ligament, your injury may heal without surgery. A doctor may recommend simple, non-surgical options, including:
RICE. The RICE protocol is effective for many sports-related injuries. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
- Rest: Patient should refrain from participating in demanding physical activities, particularly the activity that caused the injury.
- Ice: Use cold packs of crushed ice for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day with at least one hour between icing sessions.
- Compression: To prevent additional swelling and blood loss, wear an elastic compression bandage. Consult a doctor to insure that you are doing so safely and correctly.
- Elevation: To reduce swelling, recline when resting, elevating the injured extremity (leg) above the level of the heart.
Immobilization: Your doctor may recommend a brace to prevent your knee from moving.
Physical therapy: As the swelling goes down, a careful rehabilitation program is started. Specific exercises will restore function to your knee and strengthen the leg muscles that support it. Strengthening the muscles in the front of your thigh (quadriceps) has been shown to be a key factor in a successful recovery.
A doctor may recommend surgery if you have combined injuries.
Rebuilding the ligament: Sewing the ligament back together does not usually heal, a torn posterior cruciate ligament typically has to be rebuilt. A doctor will replace the torn ligament with a tissue graft that is taken from another part of the patient’s body or from another human donor.