CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
The posterior cruciate ligament can tear if your shinbone is hit hard just below the knee, or if you fall on a bent knee. These injuries are most common during:
- Motor vehicle accidents. A so-called "dashboard injury" occurs when the driver's or passenger's bent knee slams against the dashboard, pushing in the shinbone just below the knee and causing the posterior cruciate ligament to tear.
- Contact sports. Athletes in sports such as football or soccer may tear their posterior cruciate ligament when they fall on a bent knee with their foot pointed down. The shinbone hits the ground first and it moves backward. Being tackled when your knee is bent also can cause this injury.
Other causes include bending or extending your knee past its normal position and getting hit on the side of the knee while your leg is twisted.
- Curtis C, et al. Posterior cruciate ligament sprain. In: Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Jan. 24, 2011.
- Posterior cruciate ligament injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00420. Accessed Jan. 24, 2011.
- Miller RH, et al. Posterior cruciate ligament. In: Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1584/0.html. Accessed Jan. 24, 2011.