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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I tripped and fell on my left knee. Besides cracking the kneecap I also tore the posterior cruciate ligament. I had surgery to repair the damage. I notice my knee is still loose. Will this ever get better?

The answer to your question may depend on what you mean by "pretty loose." Joint laxity in the knee can be graded from one to three with a test called the drawer test. An anterior drawer test measures laxity of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). A posterior drawer test grades the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).

Studies show the PCL doesn't return to "normal" after surgery. The goal of the operation is to improve joint laxity. PCL repair usually reduces laxity by a full grade or more. Even with the best results there's often a trace amount of laxity.

Even though your joint may be loose, the real measure of success is to compare the laxity before and after the operation. Talk to your surgeon if there doesn't seem to be any difference. Ask if your knee is stable enough to return to normal sports and activities.


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