Posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

What is the posterior cruciate ligament?

The knee is made up of three bones. These are:

  • Femur
  • Patella
  • Tibia

These bones are held in place by ligaments, the most important ones are the:

  • Posterior cruciate ligament
  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Lateral collateral ligament
  • Medial collateral ligament

The posterior cruciate ligament is found in the knee joint, and is situated at the back of the knee. This ligament keeps the tibia in place and helps to control the motion of the knee.

How can it be damaged?

The posterior cruciate ligament can be damaged in the following ways:

  • Direct trauma, such as a fall or hard knock
  • Twisting or hyperextending the ligament

What are the symptoms of an injured posterior cruciate ligament?

Symptoms of an injury include:

  • Knee pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty or discomfort when walking

What is posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction?

An injured posterior cruciate ligament can be treated non-surgically with the following treatment options:

  • Rest
  • Physiotherapy
  • Compression
  • Elevation

If the injury is severe, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend knee surgery. In this case, the ligament will be rebuilt. This is generally done by replacing the damaged ligament with a tissue graft on which a new ligament can grow.

This type of procedure is performed arthroscopically. During arthroscopy your orthopedic surgeon will insert a camera into your joint. Images will then be displayed on screens for him see as he works with small surgical tools. The surgical equipment used in arthroscopy is particularly small, which means that the incisions made in the body will be small, less painful, and will heal much quicker than those made in traditional open surgery.

How long will recovery take?

Recovery will depend on the severity of your injury, as well as your personal condition. Speak to your orthopedic surgeon about rehabilitation, physical therapy, and any lifestyle changes that might be required.


Dr Gabriel Pirjol is based at St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban and also consults and operates from Gateway Hospital in Umhlanga, Westville Hospital and Malvern Medicross.


Telephone : +27 31 202 5463

Email :

Address : Suite 24 Chelmsford Medical Centre
St Augustine's Hospital
107 J B Marks Road
Berea, 4001