Posterior cruciate ligament avulsion fracture

Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) avulsion fractures are a type of avulsion fracture of the knee that represent the most common isolated PCL lesion. This typically involves separation of the posterior tibial insertion of the PCL to variable degrees.

These injuries are commonly seen in motorcycle or car accidents (dashboard injuries) in which posteriorization forces occur against the tibia in a flexed knee.

Avulsion at its tibial insertion is the most common PCL isolated lesion (~50%) 1.

  • type I: non-displaced 2
  • type II: upward displacement of the posterior aspect of the avulsed tibial bone fragment 2
  • type III: totally displaced avulsed bone fragment 2

It can be identified as a bone discontinuity at the posterior tibial articular surface (lateral radiograph view). On MRI or CT imaging, a fractured bone fragment can be noted attached to a retracted/redundant PCL ligament.

Surgical reinsertion of the avulsed fragment is the standard treatment.

Fractures
Knee pathology

The knee is a complex synovial joint that can be affected by a range of pathologies:

Share article

Article information

rID: 43789
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • PCL avulsion fracture

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: CT
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 1: MRI
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 4
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 5
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 6
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 7: ultrasound
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 8
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.