Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in children and teens are less common than in adults. But they do occur, especially in teens. An injury that hasn’t been treated (or one in which the treatment didn’t work) can lead to future knee problems. The knee may become more and more unstable. Over time, osteoarthritis may develop.
Trying rehab and other treatments
A child with an ACL injury can sometimes be treated without surgery to avoid damage to the child’s still-developing bones. Your child can try rehab exercises, wearing a brace, and avoiding activities that require jumping or twisting.
Studies suggest that the more active a child is, the less likely these treatments will work and the more likely surgery will be needed in the future.
An avulsion fracture is more common in young children. This happens when the ligament and a piece of bone separate from the rest of the bone. It can often be treated with a cast. But it sometimes needs surgery.
Having the ACL surgery
You may consider surgery if:
- The knee is very unstable doing simple daily activities.
- The knee can’t be made stable with other methods.
- The child has both an ACL injury and a meniscus tear.
- The child is a serious athlete in sports that require running, jumping, and stopping quickly.
Rest after surgery and a proper rehab program are very important.
Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 Hour) for an appointment with our orthopaedic surgeon regarding the ACL injuries today.
Brief Outline of ACL Injury
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the four ligaments of the knee and it holds the knee together from the front. An ACL injury commonly happens in sports where there are a lot of direction changes and possible impacts. Football, basketball, and other fast moving games that require quick changes often result in ACL sprains. The most common mechanism for this injury is when the knee rotates while the foot is planted. Sharp pain at the time of the injury, accompanied by swelling in the knee joint, may be a sign of an ACL tear. This can range from minor tearing of a few fibres to a complete tear. The ACL can also be torn as the result of a hard blow to the knee; usually other ligaments and the meniscus are involved as well.
Cause of ACL Injury
Forceful twisting of the knee when the foot is planted. Occasionally a forceful blow to the knee, especially if the foot is fixed as well.
Signs and Symptoms of ACL Injury
Pain immediately after injury that may go away later. Swelling in the knee joint. Instability in the knee, especially with the tibia.
Complications if Left ACL Injury Unattended
If left unattended this injury may not heal properly. The instability in the joint could result in injury of other ligaments. Chronic pain and instability could lead to future limitations.
Treatment for ACL Injury
ACL sprains that involve a complete tear usually require surgery, ACL Reconstruction using Arthroscopy method, to reattach the ligament. Minor sprains can often be healed completely without surgery.
Rehabilitation and Prevention for ACL Injury
Once stability and strength return and pain subsides, activities such as stationary cycling can be gradually introduced. Range of motion and strengthening exercises are an important part of rehabilitation. Swimming and other exercises that are non-weight bearing may be used until the strength returns to normal. Strengthening the muscles of the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves will help to protect the ACL. Proper conditioning before beginning high impact activities will also provide protection.
Call Now (+65) 6471 2674 (24 Hours) to see our knee specialist today regarding your ACL injury.