Diagnosis of posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
We’re going to ask you to explain exactly how your knee hurts. The doctor would like to know whether you have had a recent serious impact on the front of your knee, the type of impact (fall, car collision), the location of your knee (flexed, extended, twisted) at the time of injury, and what symptoms you have now.
Usually, we test both of your knees and compare your wounded knee to your unwounded knee. We will examine the injured knee for swelling, deformity, tenderness, fluid inside the knee joint and discoloration during this test. We can pull against the ligaments to verify their strength after evaluating the range of motion of your knee (how fast it can travel in all directions). When we gently force the leg forward and backward relative to the knee, you will be asked to bend the knee. Your lower leg can be pushed backward in relation to the knee if your PCL is torn.
The more you can move your lower leg away from its usual location, the greater the amount of damage to the PCL and the more unstable your knee will be.
You can need special medical tests if your physical examination indicates you have a PCL injury. This may include regular knee X-rays to confirm if the PCL is separated from the bone, as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans for other bone damage.