Patient Information Resources

1089 Spadina Road
Toronto, AL M5N 2M7
Ph: 416-483-2654
Fax: 416-483-2654

Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

View Web RX

« Back

I heard that one of my favorite football players is having surgery for a grade three PLC injury. What is that? Will he be able to play in this next football season?

PLC stands for posterolateral corner injury of the knee. This usually means there's been a partial or complete tear of the soft tissue structure(s) around the back, outer side of the knee. There are a number of complex ligaments in this area, along with two muscles: the gastrocnemius (calf) and the popliteus.

All of these ligaments and muscles work together to keep the knee stable. They prevent too much rotation and/or translation (sliding and gliding) of the bones that form the knee joint.

Any ligamentous injury can be classified by grade. Usually, the grade is based on how much disruption has occurred. A sprain of the ligament without joint instability is a grade I. Rest and rehab may be all that's needed for this level of trauma.

Grade II injuries show up as a small amount of joint laxity. There's a partial tear and mild-to-moderate change in joint motion. Grade III injuries result in joint instability and abnormal motion. In grade III PLC injuries, the soft tissues have been completely ruptured.

Treatment is based on the identified grade of injury. Grade I and less severe grade II injuries can be treated conservatively. A physical therapy rehab program often yields good results without surgery. Surgery is advised for more severe grade II and all grade III injuries.

Return to sports play depends on the severity of injury. The timing of treatment as it coincides with the off-season is also an important factor. The sooner the athlete gets the necessary treatment, the greater the chances of returning to play within the next season.


« Back

*Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Mosaic Medical Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Mosaic Medical Group, LLC and used herein by permission.