Ligaments: The strong bands of tissue that attach one bone to another at the joints. The “cruciate” ligaments help connect the thigh bone to the shin bone at the knee joint. In the center of the knee, the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments form an “X” that hold the knee’s structure together and aids in twisting the leg in either direction.

Posterior cruciate ligament, or “PCL” injuries occur much less often than injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament, as the ACL lies in a more vulnerable position. The posterior cruciate ligament and anterior cruciate ligament connect the femur to the tibia. If either ligament tears, patients may suffer pain, swelling and instability of the joint.

Although a Posterior cruciate ligament injury generally causes less pain, and instability than an ACL tear, it can still sideline athletes for weeks or months at a time.