How is a PLC Injury Classified?
Posterolateral corner injuries are classified using a grade system:
- Grade 1 injury: Causes minimal instability in the knee with a small, partial tear.
- Grade 2 injury: Partial tear with an endpoint to stressing.
- Grade 3 injury: Complete tear of the ligament with severe instability.
Dr. Mazzara recommends all grade 3 PCL injuries be treated surgically due to the low likelihood of healing. Successful surgical treatment happens ideally, within two to three weeks after the injury. This allows for early range of motion to make certain that sutures can be held into the torn structures with early motion after surgery.
How is a Posterolateral Corner Injury Treated?
Severe posterolateral corner injuries often require surgery to repair the soft tissue damage, including any tendons and ligaments involved in the injury. This surgery is typically done as an open procedure to repair or reconstruct the knee joint. Dr. Mazzara may use a graft for reconstruction which can be taken from the patient’s own body (autograft) or from a donor (allograft). The graft is secured to the outer surface of the femur (leg bone) and through the head of the fibula (smaller bone in the lower leg) with special surgical screws and sutures.
If you have questions about the treatment for a posterolateral corner injury or if you have knee instability, please contact the orthopedic offices of Dr. James Mazzara, knee specialist in Manchester, South Windsor, Enfield, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities.