Looking to lead a stronger, healthier life?
Sign up for our Wellness Wire newsletter for all sorts of nutrition, fitness, and wellness wisdom.

Now we’re in this together.
Thanks for subscribing and having us along on your health and wellness journey.

See all Healthline's newsletters »

Posterior cruciate ligament

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is one of four ligaments that hold the knee in place and provide added stability. More specifically, the PCL helps to ensure proper alignment of the femur and tibia, also called the thighbone and shinbone. Ligaments are fibrous tissue that usually connect bones.

The PCL holds the shinbone in place so that it doesn't slip over the thighbone and cause the knee to buckle, lock, or collapse. According to Medline Plus, the PCL is the strongest ligament in the knee. An injury to the posterior cruciate ligament may or may not require surgery, depending upon the severity of the injury, age of the patient, and whether other ligaments and cartilage are involved.

The PCL can be injured by landing on it awkwardly, falling hard on a bent knee, or receiving a direct blow to a flexed knee. The posterior cruciate ligament may be rehabilitated through physical therapy exercises designed to strengthen the leg muscles around the knee. In the worst cases, ligament replacement is the only way to completely repair a PCL injury.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
Co-developed by:

In Depth: Posterior cruciate ligament

Debugging Tools

Level: 5
Frame: 8
Toggle Hotspot
VP Data Tool
HexTable json from Steve
Steve's ajax layer update call:
[still on original layer]

Ad values:

adModel.dfpAdSite: hn.us.hl.bm.x.x.x
adParams['k1']: kneepain,posterior_cruciate_ligament,8002108

More on BodyMaps

Take a Video Tour

Learn how to rotate, look inside and explore the human body. Take the tour

BodyMaps Feedback

How do you like BodyMaps? How can we improve it? Tell us what you think