Posterior Cruciate Ligament Response to Proximal Tibia Impact
Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injuries, although rarely life threatening, affect the quality of life of the person who sustains the injury. The PCL is the primary restraint to posterior tibial translation and can be injured when the tibia moves posteriorly relative to the femur. This type of injury is common in frontal crashes where the tibia may impact the dashboard or steering column. To quantify what happens during dynamic loading of the tibial plateau, isolated cadaveric lower limbs (n = 14) were impacted at dynamic rates with a linear pneumatic ram. During the testing, a static load was applied to the quadriceps tendon to simulate active musculature. Forces as well as the stretch of the PCL were measured. The most common injuries were tibia fractures and PCL tears. The stiffness for the tests at impact velocities of 1.4 and 2.9 m/s were on average 120 N/mm and 141N/mm, respectively. A trend towards increasing femur force with increasing velocity was found.