- Mick Hughes
PCL Injury: Long Term Outcomes
Wondering how your knee will function in the long term following isolated PCL injury?
According to this excellent 10yr minimum follow-up study by Shelbourne et al (2018), chances are that you'll be functioning very well, and have minimal OA changes within the knee with conservative management of strengthening and exercise. The results showed that 59% of the patients reviewed at 10yr follow up had normal xray findings, 30% had nearly normal and only 11% had abnormal or severely abnormal xray findings. Furthermore, quads and hamstring strength and single leg hop test were all greater than 93% limb symmetry at 10yr follow up. Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23652263 So if you have injured just your PCL, I wouldn't go rushing into surgery. I'd certainly recommend a period of conservative, progressive rehabilitation for at least 3 months and gradual return to unrestricted training and sport thereafter. For more information on PCL injuries, stay tuned as I've got another couple of interesting papers to discuss, including a case study on AFL ruckman and how a simple rule change saw a significant decrease in PCL injuries sustained in this athletic population.