ACL Injuries in Children: 5 Things You Need To Know

Date: 10/16/2023


Did you know that ACL injuries of the knee is one of the most common knee injuries?

Literature notes that ACL injuries happen at a rate of approximately 200,000 per year in the United States, and these result in approximately 100,000 reconstructions per year.

Let’s go over 5 things you need to know about ACL injuries in children in order to make sure your child stays safe when participating in physical activities, and what to do once injured.

1. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the four main ligaments in the knee. It helps to stabilize the knee joint and prevent the shinbone from sliding forward. ACL injuries are common in children and athletes, and they can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

– Contact injuries, such as a tackle or collision
– Non-contact injuries, such as twisting the knee while landing from a jump

ACL injuries can be mild or severe. In mild cases, the ACL may be stretched or partially torn. In severe cases, the ACL may be completely torn.

Symptoms of an ACL injury may include:

– A popping or snapping sound in the knee at the time of the injury
– Severe pain and swelling in the knee
– Difficulty walking or bearing weight on the knee
– Instability in the knee

2. If you think your child may have sustained an ACL injury, it is important to see a doctor right away.

Your doctor will perform a physical examination and may order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to confirm the diagnosis.






3. Treatment for an ACL injury will depend on the severity of the injury. In mild cases, treatment may include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). In more severe cases, treatment may include surgery to reconstruct the ACL.

If your child is diagnosed with an ACL injury, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. This will help to ensure a full and successful recovery.




4. Children and adolescents who sustain an ACL injury require special consideration due to their skeletal immaturity. In children, the bones are still growing and developing. This means that surgery to reconstruct the ACL may need to be delayed until the child is skeletally mature.

In some instances, the doctor may recommend surgery for children and adolescents with an ACL injury if the benefits of surgery outweigh the risks. For example, surgery may be recommended for children and adolescents who are very active in sports or who have a high risk of re-injury.


5. At Luskin Orthopedic Institute for Children, we have a team of experts who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of ACL injuries in children and adolescents.

Our goal is to help children and adolescents recover from their ACL injury and return to their normal activities as quickly and safely as possible. We offer a variety of services, including:

           – Comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis of ACL injuries
           – Non-surgical and surgical treatment options
           – Supervised rehabilitation by experienced physical therapists
           – Injury prevention programs and techniques


If your child has sustained an ACL injury, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a consultation. We are here to help your child get back to doing what they love.