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Information about a piece of news titled Posterior cruciate ligament injury - Knees undergoing surgery for this injury suffer from poor function

Posterior cruciate ligament injury - Knees undergoing surgery for this injury suffer from poor function


A posterior cruciate ligament injury gets far less attention than an anterior cruciate ligament injury despite being just as serious. A research team from the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center has recently published a number of articles with international partners.


Often treated conservatively


Several top-level football players competed with a torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury during their careers, such as the player on the right.


A PCL injury is often considered treated best without surgery, however, there are indications that a significant number of these injuries would have benefitted from a surgical treatment.


Given that a PCL injury is less common than an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, there is a paucity of evidence for the optimal treatment, and considerably less literature than for ACL injuries.


A research team at the Oslo Sports Trauma Research, led by surgeon Asbjørn Årøen, has for focused on the PCL injury for a long time. Their work has recently resulted in publications in the KSSTA-Journal (Knee Surgery Sports Traumatology Arthroscopy).


Knee function worse than the rear with ACL injuries

This Norwegian work presents data from the Norwegian Cruciate Ligament Register, which was established in 2004 by an initiative of the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center.


All patients with an isolated PCL injury and a surgery in the period 2004-2010, a total of 71, were compared with patients who were reconstructed for an ACL injury. The comparison was based on patients' knee function and other parameters, as e.g. damage to the cartilage and meniscus before surgery.


The main finding was that patients with a PCL injury had significantly worse knee function than patients with an ACL injury, as measured with the KOOS-score (Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score).


The study also revealed that it took 2 years before patients came to surgery. Keeping in mind that these patients had to cope with their dysfunctional knees during dailylife activities, waiting for a surgery for 2 years is long and longer than for a patient with an ACL injury.


More details about this study, which is by far one of the largest studies on this type of injury, are presented in the paper by Årøen, Sivertsen, Owesen, Engebretsen, and Granan (download the paper in KSSTA).



Theme-issue on the PCL injury in the KSSTA - Journal


Asbjørn Årøen has been a co-editor for a theme-issue on the PCL in the KSSTA-Journal (Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy) in May 2013.


This special edition includes several papers on the anatomy, knee function, surgery, and rehabilitation of a PCL injury, including the one mentioned above.


Download the article and editorial in Knee Surgery Sports Traumatology Arthroscopy.


Further progression of the project

This work will be followed-up by a PhD student Christian Owesen. In a next step, the effect of a PCL surgery on patients' symptoms will be compared to those of patients following an ACL surgery.



These PCL-projects have been part of a long international collaboration on biomechanical studies and surgery techniques between the Oslo-group and the Steadman Phillippon Research Institute in Vail, US, with the world´s renowned knee surgeon Rob LaPrade.