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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2016 May;24(5):277-89. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-14-00326.

Management of Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries: An Evidence-Based Review.

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From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (Dr. Bedi and Dr. Cowan), and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA (Dr. Musahl).


Isolated injuries of the posterior cruciate ligament are uncommon, are often caused by a posteriorly directed force to the proximal tibia, and result in abnormal knee kinematics and function. A thorough clinical evaluation, including history, physical examination, and imaging, is required to rule out a concomitant structural knee injury. No clear prognostic factors predict outcomes, and ideal management remains uncertain. Nonsurgical management is advocated for isolated grade I or II posterior cruciate ligament injuries or for grade III injuries in patients with mild symptoms or low activity demands. Surgical management is reserved for high-demand athletes or patients in whom nonsurgical management has been unsuccessful. Although biomechanical studies have identified differences between single-bundle, double-bundle, transtibial, and tibial inlay reconstruction techniques, the optimal surgical technique has not been established. No high-quality evidence is available regarding immobilization, weight-bearing, bracing, or rehabilitation protocols for patients treated either nonsurgically or surgically. Additional long-term clinical studies with homogeneous patient populations are needed to identify the ideal management of these injuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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