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Orthopade. 2016 Dec;45(12):1027-1038.

[Return to sport after surgical treatment of a posterior cruciate ligament injury : A retrospective study of 60 patients].

[Article in German]

Author information

BG Traumacenter, Schnarrenbergstr. 95, 72076, Tübingen, Germany.
BG Traumacenter, Schnarrenbergstr. 95, 72076, Tübingen, Germany.



Injuries of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) lead to an initial reduction of sporting activity. However, in previous studies, return to sport after operative treatment of PCL injuries has been analysed insufficiently. The aim of this study was (1) to determine the rate of return to sport in physically active patients, (2) to analyse possible changes in sporting activities and (3) to examine the influence of the severity of the initial injury.


Within a retrospective clinical and radiological follow-up at least 24 months after surgery (80.3 ± 28.2 months), 60 patients (44.8 ± 12.1 years) with surgically treated isolated or combined PCL injuries were included in the study. Pre-accidental and post-operative sporting activities were queried and compared in a standardised questionnaire. Possible differences with respect to the initial injury severity (Cooper classification) were examined.


The return-to-sport rate of the physically active patients was 87.0 %. 17.6 % of patients with a combined PCL injury and 4.8 % of patients with isolated PCL injury were not able to return to sport. Significant reductions in the frequency of exercise (p = 0.0087), the duration of exercise (p = 0.0003) and the amount of regularly performed sports (p < 0.0001) were found. A change from high-impact sports to low-impact sports was noted.


Patients with operatively treated PCL injuries can return to sport. However, for competitive athletes an injury to the PCL can lead to the end of their career. A reduction of sporting activities and a change from high-impact sports to low-impact sports can be expected. A persisting inability to return to sporting activities in patients with isolated PCL injuries cannot be assumed.


Cruciate ligament, posterior; Injuries, knee; Retrospective study; Return to sporting activities; Sports performance

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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